In an incident that came to light on Wednesday, the prime Shiva linga idol among the ‘Koti Linga’ idols was found to be destroyed. The Shiva linga is located amid the rocks in the Tungabhadra at the Hampi World Heritage Site. In an act of vandalism, the upper portion of the Shiva linga was found to be cut into two.
Not only this, reports about attempts to vandalise another linga in the vicinity have also come to light. Hampi is a busy tourist spot and home guards have been deployed for the security of the ancient structures. And it is being reported that the home guards were deployed somewhere else during Ramadan and there is a possibility that the structures were damaged during that time.
According to a report in The Hindu, it was quoted –
‘Smaraka Samskruti Samrakshana Sene has submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Hampi Sub-division, Deputy Director of the State Archaeology Department and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) urging them to take steps to protect the monument and bring the guilty to book.’
During 2009-10, unidentified miscreants had disfigured the idol of goddess Lakshmi Devi. Local residents have now urged the authorities to strengthen the security cover in Hampi so that such incidents are not repeated in the future.