Four men held for destroying ancient pillar in Hampi, tell cops say they did it out of 'sheer excitement'

  • An Instagram video of their 'show of strength' had emerged on 2 February

  • The clip also shows one of the youths rejoice when one of the pillars break

  • A complaint was subsequently filed the Archaeological Survey of India

Almost a week after the video showing four men destroy an ancient pillar of the UNESCO world heritage site in Hampi, Karnataka had gone viral, police on Friday arrested the accused. During investigation, the youths said that they were ignorant of the historical significance of the monuments and destroyed the 14th Century pillar out of "sheer excitement", reported The Times of India.

Those held have been identified as as Rajbabu, a daily-wage worker at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, RA Raja, an engineering student in Bengaluru and Rajesh Chowdhury, who is also a daily-wage worker. According to the police, the man who filmed the incident, Ayush Shahu, works at a digital marketing firm in Bengaluru. While Rajbabu and Rajesh Chowdhury hail from Madhubani district in Bihar, Ayush Shahu is from Madhya Pradesh and Raja from Bengaluru.

 Four men held for destroying ancient pillar in Hampi, tell cops say they did it out of sheer excitement

Locals in Karnataka had staged a protest demanding adequate protection of ancient monuments. ANI

An Instagram video of their 'show of strength' had emerged on 2 February leading to public uproar across India, demanding protection of the ancient site. The clip also shows one of the youths rejoice when the pillar breaks.

A complaint was subsequently filed the Archaeological Survey of India following which a probe was ordered by the Ballari police. Superintendent of Ballari, SP Arun Rangarajan, said that the men had come to Ballari to write the Railway Recruitment Board exams and decided to visit Hampi after writing the paper. The accused had allegedly also received multiple threats from various groups in Hampi after the clip went viral.

The development had come just days after The New York Times listed Hampi World Heritage site as the second must-see place in 2019. Hampi, an ancient village in Karnataka is dotted with numerous ruined temple complexes from the Vijayanagara Empire. It is believed to have been the country’s richest city, which attracted traders from Persia and Portugal.

Updated Date: Feb 08, 2019 11:48:29 IST