4 men seen pushing down pillar at Hampi heritage structure arrested
News In Short
Over a week after a video of men vandalising a heritage site in Hampi went viral, the police have arrested four men in connection with the case. The arrested men allegedly told the police that they were not aware that the pillars belonged to a heritage site and that the monuments were of importance.
News In Detailed
The three men, who had actually tried to vandalise the structure, have been identified as Rajbabu, a daily-wage worker at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), RA Raja, an engineering student in Bengaluru and Rajesh Chowdhury, who is also a daily-wage worker.
According to the police, the fourth man who filmed the incident, Ayush Shahu, works at a digital marketing firm in Bengaluru. Rajbabu and Rajesh Chowdhury hail from Madhubani district in Bihar while Ayush Shahu is from Madhya Pradesh and Raja is from Bengaluru.
The Archaeological Survey of India had filed a complaint with the Hampi police on 2 February after locals launched protests demanding better vigilance for preserving the heritage structures.
According to Ballari SP Arun Rangarajan, the men had come to Ballari one year ago to take the Railway Recruitment Board examination and decided to visit Hampi after writing the paper.
The Hampi Police tracked down the four men with the help of Bihar Police and detained one man in Hyderabad and three in Bengaluru.
The accused allegedly told the police they were “extremely excited” to realise that they could push a pillar which was so heavy. “They said they did not know that the ruins were part of a heritage structure and that they did it out of sheer excitement,” the police added.