Tit for Tat: Youths who vandalised Hampi pillars made to re-erect them, fined Rs. 70,000 each

Four youths were arrested and given appropriate punishment for vandalising a cultural heritage of India. The youths had vandalised pillars in Hampi’s Vishnu temple complex, and were made to re-erect them after a Karnataka court ordered them to do so. Moreover, they were also imposed a fine of Rs. 70,000 each, and had to give assurances to the court that they will not repeat such acts in future.

The four accused are identified as Ayush from Madhya Pradesh, Raja Babu Chowdary, Raj Aryan and Rajesh Kumar Chowdary from Bihar. They had shared a video of damaging the pillars by pushing it on the ground. The video was also criticised by people on social media. Here is the video.

A FIR was filed against the boys by Archaelogical Survey of India’s (ASI) Arun Rangarajan. Karnataka police carried out a search to find the boys. They were arrested by police within a week. Later, they were taken to the spot and made to re-erect the pillars, as ordered by the court. The officials of ASI and Hampi police undertook the duty of the same.

“The maximum punishment for the act is two years imprisonment or a fine up to Rs 1 lakh. Offenders will have to serve the jail term if they are unable to pay the fine. The judge ordered them to pay the fine and they were released after they re-erected the pillar,” Additional Public Prosecutor Geetha Mirajkar was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.

“They were in different places – Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh, but we managed to find them and arrest them within a week of the video going viral. They told us that they were not aware of the archaeological importance of the pillars and that they toppled them just for fun,” he added.

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