At a time when allegations of multiple temple attacks are making headlines in Andhra Pradesh, the initiative of installing surveillance cameras at all religious places has enabled the state's East Godavari district police on Monday to arrest a drunken butcher for damaging the tridents (trishul) of a local temple in Kakinada more than a week ago.
The police arrested Vanumu Lakshmana Rao, 39, a resident of Kondayyapalem in Kakinada, and also managed to procure the footage of his criminal act. They shared footage of an inebriated Rao dancing and talking in front of the goddess idols holding the tridents and touching them. In another video captured by a CCTV camera from the left, Rao raised his hand and pushed the idol’s trident, resulting in its top part breaking. He committed the crime in just 10 minutes: between 10.20pm and 10.30pm on January 9 at Sri Nookalamma Temple in Kakinada's Kondayyapalem.
"He (Rao) was subjected to a thorough interrogation. The arrested accused has confessed to have committed this offence,” said a cop.
On that fateful day, Rao borrowed his friend's bicycle and got drunk. He later went to the temple, broke the tridents and went away. In the footage shared by the police, the bicycle was found fallen on the ground as Rao was seen dancing, talking and breaking the tridents, even as passersby zipped by on the road beside unbothered.
"Priest of the temple attended as usual at 6am on January 10 and noticed the 2 tridents outside the temple were partly broken,” he said.