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Central Agencies to Probe Sabarimala Golden Mast Damage Incident

Sabarimala: Central agencies will investigate the incident of damaging the newly-installed gold plated mast at the famous Lord Ayyappa Temple here. Central Intelligence and RAW will investigate if there was any conspiracy involved in the incident.

Three persons were taken into custody in connection with the incident, and they were charged with non-bailable offence. The police assume that it was not an act of sabotage.  The police have decided to seek the assistance of Andhra police to know more about the suspects hailing from Vijayawada.

The ‘panchavargathara’, the square base, of the mast was found damaged on Sunday afternoon by using some chemical, suspected to be mercury. CCTV visual showed them pouring the liquid. Based on this, they were apprehended from the premises of KSRTC bus stand at Pampa on Sunday evening.

Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed police to carry out a detailed enquiry into the incident and apprehend the culprits. “Top police officials and forensic experts have rushed to the sannidhanam (temple premises),” he said in a Facebook post.

The teakwood mast, covered using 9.16 kg of gold, 300 kg of copper and 17 kg of silver, was ceremonially installed by the head priest, Kandararu Rajeevararu after performing purification rituals in the morning.

The damage was noticed in the afternoon after the rituals were over.

 

Meanwhile, State Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the damaging of the panchavargathara using mercury or some other such chemical substance was “mysterious.”

The 10-day festival at the Sabarimala temple is scheduled to begin on June 28. The shrine will be closed on July 7.