Days after unknown miscreants desecrated the Nandi idol at the historic Kasi Visweswara Swamy temple at Makkapeta village in Vatsavai Mandal, Krishna district, opposition leaders have mounted an attack against the ruling YSR party in Andhra Pradesh for its inability to protect the temples in the state. The attack comes in the background of an increasing number of attacks on Hindu temples across the state.
#Breaking | Outrage erupts in Andhra Pradesh over attack on temples. Unknown miscreants broke the lock of a temple & damaged the idol. Allegations are being leveled against State Govt for not taking action against ‘organized attacks’.— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) September 23, 2020
Details by Sowmith. | #AndhraTempleAttacks pic.twitter.com/jnDwDY5pgy
The growing number of attacks on Hindu temples across the state has drawn widespread condemnation as the government finds itself under the firing line of the opposition, who has accused the YSR regime of turning a blind eye to the rising cases of temple desecration reported in the state.
Opposition leaders criticise YSR government for being indifferent towards attacks on Hindu temples
Former CM Chandrababu Naidu today slammed YS Jagan Mohan Reddy for not condemning the attacks on temples in the state. Naidu also criticised the Andhra Pradesh CM for not visiting a single temple in the state. In an online address, Chandrababu Naidu told his party leaders that regardless of one’s religion, the chief minister of the state is obligated to treat devotees of all religions with equality and justice and protect all places of worship.
Last week, BJP leaders from Andhra Pradesh submitted a memorandum to the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, requesting his intervention to direct the state government to honour its Constitutional mandate and not target the Hindu community and its temples. The BJP MPs G.V.L. Narasimha Rao and C.M. Ramesh highlighted that 18 incidents of temple and deity desecration have taken place in the past one year in Andhra Pradesh.
The leaders alleged that while the government acted with unusual alacrity in the case of stone-pelting on a Church in Antarvedi but have been appallingly indifferent to the attacks on the Hindu temples. They also added that 41 Hindu activists were wrongfully slapped with false cases when they raised questions over government’s inaction on the temple attacks.
Andhra BJP today passed a resolution on the issue of attacks on Hindu temples and sentiments.
“Andhra Pradesh BJP is of the opinion that a conspiracy is going on regarding attacks on Hindu temples and Hindu beliefs. These incidents seem to be not mere random incidents, but appear to be orchestrated to polarise the castes and religions in the state,” Vishnuvardhan Reddy said.
Attacks on the Hindu temples in Andhra Pradesh on the rise
The furore on the temple attacks in Andhra Pradesh was stirred after unknown miscreants barged into the historic 12th century Kasi Visweswara Swamy temple last Wednesday and damaged a portion of the Nandi idol. The incident came to light the next morning when the doors of the temple were open for the day.
Earlier this month, the century-old wooden chariot of the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Antarvedi area in Sakhinetipalli Mandal in East Godavari district was gutted to ashes. After being initially considered as an accidental fire, it was later suspected that the fire could have been deliberate to damage the famous chariot of the Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple. The BJP, opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), actor-politician Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena and organisations like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad had alleged ‘conspiracy’ behind the fire. The Andhra Pradesh finally ordered a CBI probe in the organised burning of the century-old chariot.
In February this year, a 50 feet tall ancient chariot of Prasanna Venkateswara Swamy temple at Bhogolu village of Bitragunta Mandal in Nellore district was set ablaze by unidentified miscreants. During the conflagration, the chariot was completely burnt and the priest of the temple said that it was an ancient one and was being used to take deities in a procession during brahmotsavalu and other festivals.
Some unknown miscreants desecrated many Hindu god and goddess idols and flex banners in Pithapuram city in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh in January this year. The miscreants used hammers to disfigure cemented idols of Lord Ganesha, Hanuman, Sai Baba and Durga Mata in the Bajranj temple located in the open shed in Suravarapu street in Agraharam and also destroyed various Hindu god flex banners installed in the open space along the roadside in nearby areas on the outskirts of Pithapuram town.