Amaravathi: Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police DG Sawang has said that there was a deliberate misinformation campaign, the alleged attacks on temples was being unleashed by vested interests in the State and reiterated that adequate security measures have already been initiated to protect the temples from vandalism.
Speaking to newsmen in Amaravathi on Wednesday, Sawang deplored what he termed as “politically motivated” allegations against the police force on the issue of attacks on temples. “There has been a deliberate attempt to twist the facts” he asserted.
“The police force faced serious challenges during last year owing to Covid. As many as 109 policemen died due to corona during the pandemic. Andhra Pradesh police rose to the occasion despite being under severe stress and won over 100 national awards while excelling in crime control, arrest of accused and higher conviction rate,” Sawang recalled.
The DGP described it as unfortunate, the politically motivated allegations against police. “As many as 44 cases of unfortunate incidents were reported. Questions were being raised on police and even attributing religion and caste motives to the police. Such allegations were unheard of in the past,” he said while asserting that police would perform their duties impartially irrespective of the caste and religion they belong to.
Stating that the burning of the chariot at Antharvedi temple in last September was unfortunate, Sawang pointed out that the State Government had already ordered a CBI inquiry into the incident. After reviewing security at all the temples in the state, over 58,000 have been geo-tagged. Around 43,000 CCTV cameras have been installed of which 30,000 were installed during the last two months. “the security arrangements at the temples is unprecedented, the State police chief said.
He pointed out that police have suggested improvement of security at Ramatheertham three months ago. Sixteen CCTV cameras were installed in the main temple and two days before some more CCTV cameras were about to be installed, the unfortunate incident has happened.
While releasing various details of the incidents that happened since September last year, the DGP said that as many as 180 cases related to attacks on places of worship were reported and 347 criminals were arrested. The state government has initiated the process of setting up communal harmony committees at State and District level. Sawang said similar committees will be set up at police station level too.