Minutes after it was installed, the new flag mast at Sabarimala temple was damaged as some devotees allegedly poured a chemical on it.Five persons from Andhra Pradesh have been arrested in connection with the incident after examination of CCTV footage. The accused have confessed to the crime, claiming that they did it out of devotion, said police. Pathanamthitta SP Satish Bino said CCTV footage showed the accused pouring some liquid at the foot of the gold-coated flag mast.
“They claimed that they did it out of devotion. They carried the liquid in a small box. It has to be ascertained whether the liquid was mercury or something else,’’ he said. However, the officer added, police are probing the motive of the accused and have sought the help of Andhra Police to verify their backgrounds. The 12-m mast is made of teak wood and covered with gold-coated copper plates. It was prepared at a cost of Rs 3.20 crore. ens