In yet another incident of temple vandalization in Andhra Pradesh, an idol of Lord Ram has been destroyed. The miscreants targeted the famous Ramatheertham in Vizianagaram district and desecrated 400-year-old idol of Bhagwan Ram.
The incident has triggered massive protests in the state.The opposition party staged a protest against the ruling YSRCP government led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Reddy.
It came to notice when the priest, as usual, reached the temple on Tuesday morning to worship god, he found the idol of Bhagwan Ram broken and lying on the ground. The doors of the ancient Sita Lakshmana Kodandarama temple on the Bodikonda hillock in Ramatheertham were broken. The idol of the Lord was beheaded. The authorities at the temple immediately informed the police about the incident.
Vizianagaram district police have launched an investigation into the case, forming five special teams. Raja Kumari, SP, Vizianagaram said in a statement that they are investigating the case, but no arrests have been made so far. He said, “We are probing from all angles to know if this is an act of treasure hunters or involves communal angle or a miscreant act. We have not made any arrests so far.”
Sunil Deodhar, the National Secretary of BJP and co-in charge of Andhra Pradesh compared the incident to Taliban’s destruction of giant Buddha statues in Bamiyan. He said, “Repeat attacks on Hindu temples in Andhra Pradesh are reminiscent of actions of 16th century ruthless St. Xavier in Goa who destroyed temples & carried out forced conversions & Taliban’s destruction of giant Buddha statues in Bamiyan.”
On Tuesday night, Bharatiya Janata Party workers held protests at the temple. Somu Veerraju, Andhra Pradesh BJP chief has demanded strict action against the culprits.
Former chief minister Chandrababu Naidu said, “The destruction of Ram idol at the four centuries old Ramatheertham temple is resultant of the negligence of the ruling party.” Naidu said that for unknown reasons the CM is just watching the attacks as a silent spectator.
“In the last 19 months, over 120 attacks took place on temples. These attacks were going on as per a premeditated plan. Over 23 idols were demolished in six temples at Pithapuram. Durga temple was brought down in Guntur,” he said.
It is worth mentioning here that in recent times, incidents of Hindu temple vandalization have grown up in Andhra Pradesh. Several Hindu god and goddess idols and flex banners in Pithapuram city in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh were desecrated by unknown miscreants in January this year. In September, a similar incident took place in Antarvedi where the six-decade-old, 40 feet high wooden ratham of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha went up in flames. Amidst public pressure, the case was handed over to CBI by the state government.