Man arrested for desecrating five places of worship

The Mangaluru South Police have arrested a 62-year-old man hailing from Hubballi for his alleged involvement in desecrating five places of worship, including the one reported in the city on Tuesday. He has reportedly admitted before police to have desecrated 18 other places of worship.

Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar gave the name of the arrested person as Devadas Desai (62), son of John Desai, native of Unkal in Hubballi and residing in Kotekar here.

Desai was arrested for keeping used condoms near the offering box of Koragajja Daivastana in Nandigudda on Wednesday. After a complaint by devotees, the police examined CCTV footage from the area and traced Desai. He had come on a bicycle from his house and placed the condoms in the daivastana.

Mr. Kumar told reporters that Desai’s questioning revealed his involvement in similar acts of desecration in four daivastanas reported between January 2, 2021 and February 25, 2021. However, no complaints were made regarding 18 other instances of desecration. He also placed letters to hurt religious feelings of devotees. At some places, he had put in offering boxes images of politicians after disfiguring them.

The arrested person stayed alone in his house in Kotekar and earned a living by selling scrapped packaging material. He reportedly confided to police that he desecrated different places of worship to make people follow the religion he professes. Having worked as a autorickshaw driver for over a decade, he identified places of worship in the city and then desecrated them, the police said.

Mr. Kumar said that investigation so far revealed that Desai alone committed the acts and no one else was involved. He had used condoms that had been abandoned near State Bank Circle and other places. Though he is found to be mentally fit, the police will subject him to necessary tests to know his exact health condition.

Desai will be taken into police custody for further investigation of his acts of desecration, Mr. Kumar said.

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