Surat police on Wednesday arrested a 55-year-old mentally-ill person for allegedly damaging a Ganesh idol at a pandal on Bamroli road in Surat.
The accused has been identified as Harishkumar Bharti, who lives on the footpath near Nirmal Hospital, police said.
The incident came to light on Tuesday morning when an organiser of the Shree Ganesh Yuvak Mandal went to the pandal to worship. He found the idol damaged and some materials lying scattered on the stage. He immediately informed other members who then contacted the police.
Police rushed to the spot and organised immersion of the damaged idol. A new idol was also reinstated. Police were also deployed at the place to avoid any untoward incident.
Dipak Gajjar, who first saw the damaged idol, lodged a complaint with the Khatodara police. An offence under IPC sections 457 and 380 was registered against unknown person on Tuesday night.
A police team, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Vidhi Chaudhari, and Crime Branch officials started a probe into the incident and checked CCTV cameras in the nearby areas.
Meanwhile, some unidentified persons took pictures of the damaged idol and posted it on social media with communally provocative messages.
Incharge police commissioner of Surat, Harekrishna Patel said, “We have arrested Harishkumar Bharti involved for allegedly damaging the Ganesh idol. He is mentally-ill and we assume that he was hungry and entered the pandal in search of some food. In the process, he might have damaged the idol.”
“We have come to know that some people posted pictures of the damaged idol along with communally provocative messages on social media. We will take strict actions against those who want to disturb the peaceful atmosphere here,” Patel added.