A man, under the influence of alcohol, vandalised idol tridents at a temple in Andhra Pradesh on January 9. The entire incident was caught on CCTV cameras in place at the temple premises as part of the state government initiative to avert instances of attacks on temples. The man is seen touching the trishuls of a deity at a local temple before unwittingly breaking it. He is also seen dancing and talking to the idols.
The man has been identified as Vanumu Lakshmana Rao (39), a resident of Kondayyapalem in Kakinada, who is a butcher by profession. He abandoned his family comprising his wife and two sons eight years ago. He is also infamous for previously taking shelter in the same temple where the tridents were broken at. The East Godavari district police, on Monday, arrested Rao for damaging the tridents.
He committed the crime on the night of January 9 at Sri Nookalamma Temple in Kakinada’s Kondayyapalem. “He (Rao) was subjected to a thorough interrogation. The arrested accused has confessed to having committed this offence,” said a police officer.
Rao confessed to borrowing his friend’s bicycle and consuming alcohol before the crime took place. In the footage shared by the police, the bicycle is seen on the ground, and Rao is seen dancing, talking and breaking the tridents, even as passersby zipped by on the road.
“About 6 am on January 10, the priest of the temple noticed that the two tridents outside the temple were partly broken,” said the official. The cement idols standing on either side of the Nookalamma temple’s entry door used to hold two tridents.
The accused has been booked under sections 447 (criminal trespass), 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class) and 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).