Andhra Pradesh DGP Gautam Sawang speaking to media on Friday. (Photo/ANI)
Andhra Pradesh DGP Gautam Sawang speaking to media on Friday. (Photo/ANI)

13 TDP, 2 BJP members arrested for temple-related offences in Andhra

ANI | Updated: Jan 15, 2021 23:25 IST

Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India], January 15 (ANI): There is "direct involvement" of people affiliated to political parties in nine cases of offences related to temples for which 13 from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and two from the two from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have been arrested, said Andhra Pradesh police on Friday
Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang while addressing a press conference said that a total of 21 people--17 from TDP and 4 from the BJP-- have been identified for their involvement in temple related offences.
"A total of 15 persons affiliated with political parties have been arrested in nine cases of offences related to temple. This proves there is a larger game plan. While 15 have been arrested, six are still absconding," he said.
Later, while talking to media, Sawang said that police administration is undertaking all measures to ensure temples are protected in Andhra Pradesh.
"There is the direct involvement of persons who are associated or affiliated to political parties. So, that speaks for itself that there is a larger design. We have been saying that there is a certain narrative which has been deliberately propagating that temples are under attack in this state, which is not the case. We are taking all the measures to ensure that temples are protected and safe," he said.

"Temples are not under attack as they are made out to be. If you look at the number of cases which have been reported during the last one year it is hardly any different from the previous years. But after every single incident, there is a huge undue, unnecessary outcry, publicity and propaganda as if the incident is deliberately done," he added.
The senior police official said that during investigation it was found that many cases turned out to be false.
"In our investigations, we found that there are many cases which are false. In some incidents, damage to idols was done many years ago. Then they are attributing it as if it had happened now and propagating it in the social media," he said.
Recently, Andhra Pradesh government constituted a 16-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by IPS GV Ashok Kumar to investigate the attacks on temples in the state.
The team will probe all cases and incidents pertaining to temples and desecration of idols which were reported since September 2020 till now. (ANI)