A 28-year-old man was arrested on Monday for allegedly defiling two idols on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr in Madhya Pradesh, the Burhanpur district police said.
The accused man, identified as Satish Chouhan, who is a carpenter, had allegedly defiled the idols of deities Hanuman and Ramdev, reported The Indian Express.
In a Facebook post on Tuesday, the Burhanpur Police said said they foiled the man’s attempt to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere of the district.
At around 8 pm on Monday, reports of the desecration had started circulating, resulting in a public outcry. “Considering the seriousness of the case, the police immediately formed four teams and started searching for the accused man,” they said. Chouhan is a resident of Rajghat.
The police said they spotted a man in a CCTV footage entering and leaving the shrine in a hurry. “We nabbed the man [Satish] who lived merely 500 metres away from the temple,” said Superintendent of Police Rahul Lodha, The Indian Express reported.
The police said it will take strict action against anyone trying to cause communal disharmony.
Chouhan’s family have claimed that Chouhan exhibits bouts of erratic behaviour and suffers from mental health problems. The police then questioned the doctor the family had approached for Chouhan’s treatment.
“The doctor confirmed to us that the family had approached him for Satish’s treatment,” said Lodha, The Indian Express reported. “Although he does not suffer from any specific mental illness, he has bouts of erratic behaviour, especially since his wife left him.”
A case has been registered under Section 295 (injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) of the Indian Penal Code.
The Burhanpur police appealed to the residents to not be swayed by any rumours on social media and to celebrate all festivities peacefully.
The police also made preparations in case of any untoward incident, such as monitoring religious sites, intersections and sensitive places in the city with CCTV cameras and deploying officers dressed in civil clothes.