Sringeri, August 14, 2020: Police on Friday arrested one person for throwing religious banner on the canopy over a statue of Adi Shankaracharya in Sringeri town on Thursday morning.
The accused is identified as Milind (28) son of Manohar, who the police say was drunk took the banner from the nearby Jamia masjid to cover himself from rain, and later throw it over the statue of Adi Shankaracharya.
According to the Superintendent of Police of Chikmagalur, when Milind realised that he had taken the banner of another religion he placed it on top of another religious place out of respect. The police say Milind has no affiliation to any political or religious group.
The incident created a tense atmosphere in the region. Hindu activists vented their ire against the act. Following the incident, BJP leader and former MLA D N Jeevaraj, condemning the incident, sought the arrest of the accused.
In the backdrop of the riots that had just struck in capital Bengaluru just the day before, police quickly came together to diffuse the situation. They also assured the protestors that there were definite leads on who the culprits were, and that they would be brought to book.
’It was not an SDPI flag, nor of any other political party. It was a banner printed for the Eid-Milad festival. It was very cold and raining that day. He was initially looking around for something to cover himself. So he used the cloth. Then he realised it was a banner that belongs to a God. So he kept it in the safe custody of another God," said Chikmaglur SP Hakay Akshay Machchindra.
It is a crazy quirk of circumstances, police said, shying away from calling him either a miscreant or the act a mischief. However, a case has been taken up under offences related to hurting religious sentiments.