A case of idol vandalism in a Hindu temple has been reported from the Shahganj region of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, as reported by Patrika. As per the report, the accused is reported to have vandalised a Hanuman and Durga idol to try and instigate communal tension. The report also claims that such vandalism of the temple has also been reported in the past.
As reported by Jansatta, on Monday morning when devotees went to the temple, which is situated in an area inhabited by a mixed population of Hindus and Muslims, they noticed the idols vandalised.
The devotees then caught hold of an individual reportedly trying to flee the temple premises, who when questioned identified himself as Sonu Khan. When he was further grilled by those present, he proceeded to change his statement multiple times, which increased their suspicion.
As per a tweet by ANI, the accused was assaulted by the locals after being tied to a tree, following which he was handed over to the police. The news agency claims that the accused in “mentally challenged”:
Agra: Man tied to a tree & beaten up by people after he allegedly vandalised statue of a deity in a temple in Shahganj. He was later handed over to police. Police say ‘Case registered. We’re being told he’s mentally challenged. Probe on. Him being beaten up is also being probed’ pic.twitter.com/R126RnkPfY
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) May 29, 2018
The Jansatta report claims that following the assault, the accused confessed that he was instructed to carry out the vandalism, in exchange of money. During the chaos, police and members of Hindu organisations reached the spot. The police later took the accused in their custody.
As per an Amar Ujala report, after the news of the incident spread, a crowd started gathering which resulted in communal tension spreading through the region, though no violence was reported.
The broken idols were soon replaced by new ones.