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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

TN: 4 incidents of temple and murti vandalism in a week but not even a peep in the media

There have been 4 incidents of murti vandalism in the past one week in Tamil Nadu. Amman temple in Perambalur, Durga Devi temple in Ranipet and Shri Krishna’s murti in Coimbatore were vandalised in the past 7 days and only one of the perpetrators have been caught. Like other past instances police have alleged that the perpetrator seems to be “mentally unstable”.

There have been many instances in the recent past where Hindu deities’ murtis were repeatedly vandalised in Perambalur district. In the months of October and November 4 different temples that are under HRCE control were vandalised by miscreants. One of them was recently renovated with funds collected from devotees. In another temple the stone murtis were removed from their base with some of them decapitated. 

Similarly on December 28, 8 murtis in Periyanayaki Amman temple in Melanathur village were vandalised. Police arrested a 50 year old man, Periyasami on suspicion. The man is said to have been wandering the streets with a trishul in hand. Police confirmed that he entered the temple in the middle of the night and vandalised the murtis and arrested him. Reports say that he looked like a “mentally unstable” person. 

In the past also many who were involved in temple/murti attacks and vandalism were let off as they were allegedly “mentally unstable”. One of them was a Muslim man who set two temple chariots on fire and clearly said to the devotees that he did it intentionally and would do it again if given chance.

In another incident, the Trishul in Durga Devi temple in Ranipet was vandalised on January 2. The Navagraha murtis and the Trishul in the temple were found in a broken state the day after New Year. The perpetrators of this incident have not yet been identified. On the same day Shri Krishna’s murti in Bharathi Park in Coimbatore was vandalised by unidentified people. The park is maintained by Coimbatore corporation and is frequently used by walkers and joggers.

The Krishna murti is worshiped by those who frequent the park. On the day of the incident, corporation workers who were cleaning the park heard a banging noise and went to investigate. They found the Krishna murti broken upto the knees. However they couldn’t see the perpetrator. BJP and Hindu organisations condemned the incident and filed a complaint. Police are checking the CCTV footage to catch the perpetrator.

On New Year day the centuries old murti of Ganesha sculpted on a rock in Gudalur, Nilgiri hills was found in a broken state as well. The Vana Vinayakar temple is situated well inside the forest and the region falls under the Forest Department. As the grounds are barred to the public, devotees get special permission from the department to visit the place and offer worship on New Year day. 

When they visited this year, the murti was found to have been vandalised. Devotees informed the police and forest officials and they have initiated an investigation into who entered the restricted forest area and vandalised the murti. As per devotees rumors about a treasure in the temple are around for a longtime and there are suspicions that it could have been the treasure hunters who broke the murti.

As Periyarist, Islamist and evangelist organisations have gained an upper hand since “atheist” DMK came to power, incidents of temple vandalism and attack are on the rise. In December also 3 temples were vandalised in a week in Tiruppur, Palani and Villupuram.

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