It was not a deliberate act, say police

It was not a deliberate act, say police

Sringeri police have arrested 28-year-old Milind, a native of Bylugadde near Sringeri, in connection with the case of placing a cloth resembling the SDPI flag on the canopy of Shankaracharya statue at Veerappa Gowda Circle in the town. The accused admitted to have committed the act under the influence of alcohol.

Akshay M. Hakay, Superintendent of Police, Chikkamagaluru, in a press conference on Friday, said that accused did not belong to any political party or any organisation. “It was found that the act was not premeditated and was not done on purpose”, he said. The accused was accused of theft in 2012 and 2017 and had been imprisoned for the crimes.

The SP had formed a team of officials after the incident came to light on Thursday morning. The officials verified the CCTV video footages recorded by cameras at various places in the city and traced the accused. They got to know that banners, put up last year during Eid, were missing from a mosque. The CCTV footages showed the accused going inside the mosque around 10.30 p.m. on Wednesday. “During interrogation, he admitted that he took the banner to use it as a blanket as it was raining heavily that night. As he realised that the banner was special and had religious significance, he chose to place it at another place of religious significance. He was not sure what he was doing. The next day he got admitted to a hospital complaining of giddiness. Based on the video footages, we traced him and arrested him”, the officer said.

The residents of Sringeri and devotees of Shankaracharya were agitated on Thursday after noticing the cloth on the canopy of the statue. Former Minister D.N. Jeevaraj took the name of a Congress member of Sringeri Town Panchayat, accusing him of involvement in the act.