Monday, June 26, 2017

Golden flag mast of Sabarimala temple damaged

Jun 26 2017 : The Times of India (Chennai)
Golden flag mast of Sabarimala temple damaged, 5 in custody

The newly installed flag mast at Sabarimala temple was found damaged minutes after it was consecrated on Sunday. Five people were taken into custody by Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) guards and cops from the KSRTC depot at Pampa in connection with the vandalism.The state police have sought the help of Andhra Pradesh police for interrogating those in custody.The five-member pilgrim team is learnt to be natives of Andhra Pradesh. The delegation is led by a man identified as Satyanarayana.
The five pilgrims were nabbed after the police identified them from examining the CCTV footages.One of them was seen pouring a liquid on the base of the flag mast. The liquid is suspected to be some type of acid.
Forensic tests are being conducted to identify the substance thrown on the flag mast. Upon interrogation, the pilgrims told police that they poured some substance as per the ritual followed in temples in their village. But, the police haven't taken the version seriously.
The government has taken the vandalism with utmost seriousness and has directed the police to take swift action. Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran suspected cheating and revenge by professional rivals in connection with the making of the new flag mast. He said that a cloth mixed with mercury was thrown at the flag mast.
The flag was consecrated with rituals between 11.50 and 1.40pm on Sunday.The damaged portions of the flag mast have been covered following the incident.
The flag post was covered using 9,161 kg of gold and the total cost of the new flag post is around ` 3.2 crore.

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