VIJAYAWADA: AP Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang on Wednesday announced that the department has solved 29 of the total 44 attacks on temples in the state and has arrested 85 persons.
The DGP maintained that there have been attempts to undermine religious harmony in the state, but police department checked the same by taking all possible measures. He said AP police is first in the country to install CCTV cameras for round-the-clock surveillance at places of worship. 58,871 temples had been geo-tagged and 43,824 CCTV cameras installed.
Addressing a press meet here on Wednesday, Gautam Sawang disclosed that attacks on temples in Andhra Pradesh are being widely publicised with social media distorting facts and spreading false information. He said it is not right to make accusations against police for political reasons. He found fault with certain people for questioning police as to what they are doing while temples are being attacked. Allegations had been made on the basis of caste and religion. "No one has ever made such allegations against police during my 35 years of service. Police does not act on the basis of caste or religion," he underlined.
The DGP said police are working with dedication in safeguarding integrity of the state. "The Antarvedi incident in September last year was unfortunate. There have been some untoward incidents in the state after Antarvedi incident. The government has ordered a CBI probe into it,” he pointed out.
He recounted that there have been 44 major incidents of alleged attacks on temples during 2020–2021, 38 involving theft of idols and desecration, two cases of chariot burning and four instances of temple premises being dug up. He said 85 persons have been arrested in 29 incidents. Culprits in 15 cases are yet to be traced.
Details of temple attacks:
Providing details, Gautam Sawang said among the 29 incidents, six have been the handiwork of property offenders looking for treasure in Anantapur, Kurnool, Chittoor, and Prakasam districts. Guntur rural district reported two cases. One case was registered in Pathikonda. Investigation into it showed that the offender resorted to the crime to divert attention from two political groups entering into a quarrel. Three cases were owing to disputes over ownership, one each in YSR Kadapa, West Godavari and East Godavari districts.
The DGP said three cases originated from superstitions at Allagadda, Srikalahasti and Pithapuram. One incident was because of a wild animal in Battuvanipalli. Mentally unsounded persons were involved in two cases reported in Bitragunta and Nakapalli. Four cases at Adoni, Gudivada, Kakinada and Yeleswaram were the work of drunkards. Seven cases of false propaganda were reported in Anantapur, Prakasam, Guntur Rural, Rajahmundry Urban, Visakhapatnam Rural and two cases surfaced in Srikakulam district. Two cases in Kurnool and Visakhapatnam districts were accidental. He said investigations are in progress in 15 undetected cases. Culprits will be nabbed and stern action taken against them.
Replying to a question, DGP Sawang said as many as 109 policemen have died due to Coronavirus. Andhra Pradesh Police Department has also received over 100 awards in technology category....