Raipur: A 1000-year-old idol of Lord Ganesha located atop the densely forested Dholkal mountain in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Dantewada district was damaged by Naxals, police said on Saturday. The vandalised idol was found at the bottom of the hill, they said.
Police suspect involvement of Naxals in vandalising the idol citing that rebels were frustrated with the frequent movement of tourists and devotees to the place.
“We have started a probe in the case,” Dantewada Superintendent of Police Kamlochan Kashyap told Press Trust of India.
After some locals who had gone yesterday to visit the place reported that the idol was missing, a team of police and district administration rushed to the area.
Mr Kashyap along with Dantewada Collector Saurabh Kumar reached there for investigation.
“During the search, the broken idol was found lying at around 1,000 feet down the hilltop. Probably it was pushed down from its place,” he said.
Early evidence suggests that Naxals were involved in the incident as according to villagers their movement was witnessed a few days back on the mountain range.
Even informers had tipped off that the rebels were frustrated with the frequent visit of tourists and devotees to the place, the officer said.
The police officer ruled out any attempt to steal the idol citing that the 4-feet idol was placed on a steep vertical hill and it was not possible for some persons to lift it from there.
It is presumed that the idol was made during the time of Nagvanshi dynasty in the 9th or 10th century on a ‘dhol’ shaped mountain range.
The mountain range lies 14 km deep inside forest from Faraspal police station of the district, around 450 km away from Raipur. One has to reach to the place on foot through forest route as no road is available there.
Chhattisgarh’s Tourism and Culture Minister Dayaldas Baghel said an inquiry has been initiated into the incident.