Amaravati, Sep 28 (PTI): The recent acts of vandalism in various temples and their properties in Andhra Pradesh were 'standalone incidents', each with a different motive, but a rather aggressive attempt was being made to link them and spin a wrong narrative, state DGP G Sawang said on Monday.
In a statement, the DGP said the accused in 12 out of 19 cases of attacks on temples and temple properties had already been arrested and added that they were confident of cracking the remaining cases in due course.
'All these are standalone incidents and each one has a different motive.
There seems to be a rather aggressive attempt being made to link all these incidents to spin the narrative, which is wrong,' Sawang alleged.
Referring to an incident in Srikakulam, the DGP said the arm of the idol 'fell off' last year as it was exposed to heavy rains.
'In the Kurnool incident, the accused revealed that he desecrated the idol because he was made to believe that this could lead his wife to conceiving a child.
Various other attacks were executed by treasure trove gangs, who were hunting for treasures supposedly hidden under idols,' the DGP said, revealing the outcome of police probe.
'Therefore, all these incidents have different motives and are completely unrelated,' he added.
On the precautionary measures initiated to prevent incidents in temples, the DGP said they had so far mapped a total of 47,593 places of worship, including 28,567 temples.
'A comprehensive social audit of these structures has been completed and it was found that only 10 per cent of these structures are equipped with CCTV cameras.
We have issued notices to the authorities of the respective temples to take necessary steps for safety, including installation of CCTVs, improving the lighting around the structure, among others, Sawang said.
He said the police department installed CCTVs in over 880 locations.
The DGP also said the incidents of attacks on temples in Andhra Pradesh were the lowest this year at 228 so far, compared to the previous years.
The number of such incidents was 290 in 2015, 322 in 2016, 318 in 2017, 267 in 2018 and 305 in 2019, he added.
The DGP appealed to the citizens to not get carried away but focus on the facts.
'If any citizen has any concern or information, he or she could approach the police and I personally assure that we will respond promptly,' Sawang promised. PTI DBV APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH