Members of the Sangolli Rayanna Yuva Sene cleaned the statue of Sangolli Rayanna in Peeranwadi in Belagavi on Monday, after reports that a mentally challenged man climbed on the statue a few days ago.
A video clip that was widely shared showed the person climb to the top of the statue holding a pole with Kannada flag. He is seen standing on the statue, with one feet on its head and another on its shoulder.
This led to argument on social media platforms by some followers of Rayanna and some Kannada activists who thought it was a deliberate attempt by some Marathi groups to desecrate the 19th century hero’s statue.
However, the city police identified that person as Parashuram Pujari of Peeranwadi, a shepherd who has been suffering from psychological problems for some years. He was let off after a suitable warning, a police officer said.
He was arrested on charges of desecrating the Beereshwar temple near Peeranwadi a few years ago.
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