In the second incident of vandalism of Hindu temples and deity idols in Andhra Pradesh, Lord Subrahmanya Swamy's idol in Lord Vigneshwara temple of Rajahmundry district has been found in a desecrated condition on Friday. A case has been registered and the police is investigating the matter to nab the perpetrators. According to sources, the vandalism seems to have taken place on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1.
This incident has occurred just days after the 400-year-old idol of Lord Rama at the Ramateertham temple was vandalised and head of the idol was severed. On Tuesday morning, one of the priests found the doors of the ancient Sita Lakshmana Kodandarama temple broken open and the Ram idol in the sanctum sanctorum beheaded. The severed portion of the statue was retrieved from the nearby temple pond on the next day.
Massive outrage was expressed by the opposition which slammed the ruling YSRCP government. Vizianagaram police have formed five teams and were said to be investigating the matter.
Reacting to the incident, the BJP lashed out at the ruling party over the horrific incident, stating that CM Jagan Mohan Reddy’s inaction shows "implicit support." Moreover, actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan of Jana Sena [part of NDA] urged Union Home Ministry to keep a vigil on the series of incidents of attacks on temples, persecution of idols, and destruction of temple chariots taking place for the past one-and-half-years in Andhra Pradesh. He demanded a CBI probe on the vandalism incidents. Former Chief Minister and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu also slammed the chief minister while claiming that over 120 attacks took place on temples as per a premeditated plan in last 19 months and over 23 idols were demolished recently in six temples at Pithapuram.
There have been a series of incidents of temple vandalism in Andhra Pradesh. In September as well, a 'Nandi' idol was reportedly vandalised in a temple in Chittoor district. The Police had then alleged that the vandals had broken open the idol based on rumours that gold had been poured into the Nandi idol. On finding nothing, the men left the temple. Moreover, a 62-year-old heritage chariot parked at ancient Antarvedi Lakshmi Narasimha Temple premises was found burnt in suspicious circumstances with the opposition alleging a conspiracy behind the chariot fire.