In second such incident within months, the Hampi police on Wednesday arrested a tourist from Bengaluru on the charge of damaging a historical monument at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hampi in Ballari district, The New Indian Express reported.
Nagaraj, 45, a resident of Avalahalli in Bengaluru, who was touring Hampi along with his friends, brought down two pillars at the Saalu Mantapa outside the Vijaya Vittala temple heritage site.
According to the police, the accused thought the pillars were unattended and he could further push them on the ground. Th ground holding the historical pillars on the protected heritage site had loosened considerably owing to the recent rains.
Nagaraj is said to have pushed one of the pillars resulting in it collapsing onto another pillar, which too fell to the ground. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) guards monitoring the sight noticed the act and informed the police.
Nagaraj was booked under Section 30 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
This is second such incident of vandalism in Hampi in the last few months. Earlier this year, a group of tourists had vandalised pillars in Hampi and had also posted an Instagram video of the incident.
In the Instagram video, one of five miscreants can be seen pushing carved stone pillars on to the ground, with three accomplices cheering him on. The video evoked huge outrage and later on, the miscreants were arrested.