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Andhra Men Damage Sabarimala Flag Post

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Sabarimala: Devotees of Lord Ayyappan witness the 'Makara Jyothi' at Sabarimala in Kerala, on Jan 14, 2017. (Photo: IANS) by .
Devotees of Lord Ayyappan witness the 'Makara Jyothi' at Sabarimala in Kerala (Photo: IANS)

Five people were arrested for throwing a white piece of cloth, which had mercury dipped in it, at the foot of the new gold-coated flag post in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala after it was consecrated by the priests. The gold coating peels off  soon after because of chemical reaction….reports Asian Lite News

Sabarimala: Devotees of Lord Ayyappan witness the 'Makara Jyothi' at Sabarimala in Kerala, on Jan 14, 2017. (Photo: IANS) by .
Devotees of Lord Ayyappan witness the ‘Makara Jyothi’ at Sabarimala in Kerala (Photo: IANS)

Five people were arrested on charges of damaging a new gold-coated flag post consecrated only on Sunday afternoon at the famed Sabarimala temple here in Kerala.

CCTV cameras identified the culprits, who were caught by the temple guards. After preliminary interrogation, five people from Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh were taken into custody.

The new flag post was donated by a business group from Andhra Pradesh. It reportedly cost Rs 3.5 crore.

It was on Sunday that it was consecrated by the priests in the presence of State Devasom Minister Kadakampally Surendran and other Devasom officials.

“This is something really sad and unfortunate. We are told mercury dipped in a cloth was thrown on the lower portion of the flag post and it got damaged,” Surendran told reporters at the temple.

Situated on the mountain ranges of the Western Ghats at an altitude of 914 metres above sea level, the Sabarimala temple is four kilometres uphill from Pamba in Pathanamthitta district, which is around 100 km from the Kerala capital.

CCTV visuals that have been released show a white piece of cloth being thrown at the foot of the flag post. Soon, the gold coating peels off because of chemical reaction.

According to the visuals, a person aged around 65 years hurled the mercury-dipped cloth while two others standing close by caught the incident on their mobile camera.

The police seized a bottle containing mercury from the bag of one of those in custody.

Police believe the reason for the crime may be business rivalry. The attackers