Hampi heritage site vandalisation – accused fined Rs 70,000 each by court
A viral video that showing vandalism found to be real.
Accused were arrested by the police after a video showing their mindless.
Fined Rs 70,000 each
The JMFC court here fined four youths, who were accused of vandalising a part of the UNESCO heritage site in the town, Rs 70,000 each.
It may be recalled that the said youths were arrested by the police after a video showing their mindless act went viral on Instagram. They were apprehended by the police through the help of Instagram post. In addition to paying the fine, the court has also asked them to be present during the work of restoring the five stone pillars of the site by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The Bellary police arrested Ayush Sahu, Rajababu Chaudhary, Raja Aryan Choudry and Rajeskumar Chaudhary last week after the ASI lodged a complaint with the police when the video of the vandalisation went viral.
Giving the information on the arrest and subsequent investigation, Arun Rangarajan, superintendent of police of Bellary district said, “It came to light through inquiry that this act of vandalism was done by the said youths when they came to Hampi for sightseeing in the month of January. They were traced through a phone number that was linked to the account through which the video of vandalism was posted on social sites.”
Though the mobile number linked to the account showed that the same was present in Hampi in January, it went of switched-off mode as soon as the video of vandalism went viral on social sites. The investigating team got clue of two of the culprits through the SMS record of the said mobile number through which they got the other mobile numbers to which calls were made frequently from the mobile of the accused. Actually a package delivery message of an e-commerce site helped the police to get the address of one of the accused.
The youths are native of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. When the police visited the address available on the e-commerce site, they found the uncle of one of the suspects and through his help they could arrest all the four, who were in hiding after the news spread like wildfire.
All the four were arrested on February 8 and presented subsequently in the court of the principal civil judge and JMFC Hospet. According to Kalimuth, superintending archaeologist for the region, all the four youths pleaded guilty and promised to pay the fine and also support in restoration of the vandalised site.
Disposing the case, the JMFC court said, “All four accused are convicted on pleading guilty and plea bargaining. They shall pay the fine of Rs 70,000 each.”