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Andhra police probing conspiracy angle in Sonthabommali Nandi row

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Sonthabommali (Andhra Pradesh), Jan 21 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam district police are investigating the angle of conspiracy and continuing the hunt for more people involved in illegally shifting a Nandi idol from a temple after arresting six persons.

Srikakulam superintendent of police Amit Bardar said a group of people shifted a Nandi (cow) idol from a local temple and tried to place it on a nearby pedestal on the middle of the road on Thursday.

“Somebody wanted to have something there (on the pedestal) and these people in order lay claim over that have taken out one of the idols from inside the premises,” said Bardar.

He said the people involved ignored the due process and hurriedly did this act, which was all caught on camera, right from the time they took the idol out of the temple and also at the pedestal.

“It gives an impression that these persons would disturb the harmony in this village. So this is the complaint we got. Subsequently we have taken up the investigation. We are taking a legal view if this comes under the purview of idol desecration,” said the IPS officer.

Based on the opinion of the archaeological department and sculptors, he said the police would proceed accordingly.

Though Bardar did not invoke the names of any political parties, reportedly the pedestal was being readied to set up a statue of former chief minister Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy.

“There are signs of it which do point out towards this angle as well,” he said, observing that a closer examination of their social media profile points to their affiliation to a particular political party.

In the video footage, the accused were seen taking photographs of the idol, raising suspicions as to what they would use those images and footage for.

“Even if you ignore the things happening in the state, just this incident itself is so disturbing to see,” said Bardar.

According to the SP, some of the accused were members of the temple committee, who were told only a couple days ago what precautions to take to secure the religious place.

He said they blatantly did not inform the police, despite a police station being just a kilometre away.

“They have covered it up in such a manner that taking photographs also points towards a conspiracy. So these things do matter when the environment is disturbing,” he added.

Even as the police hunt for the other accused, the nabbed six were arrested under IPC Sections 120 B, 153, 295, 504 and others.




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