IPOH: A man, who ran amok and damaged several deities in a Hindu temple in Jalan Hospital near here has been detained by police.
In the 5pm incident yesterday, the 29-year-old suspect allegedly opened the unlocked temple gate and parked his car in the temple before carrying out the destructive acts.
A Sree Muneeswaran Amman Kovil temple committee member said, “Our assistant temple priest said the man was holding a machete. He then took a metal rod from his car and started breaking the nine deities of the Navagraham (nine planets).
“After that, he went into the main deity area and started breaking decorative statues,” he said, adding that the man could not access the main altar to do further damage as it was locked.
“The priest called the temple committee members who then alerted the police immediately,” he added.
Mentri Besar’s special adviser Datuk V. Elango, who represented Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, said the incident should not have happened.
“The state government urges everyone to remain calm and for police to take stern action against the culprit. Let this be a lesson to other irresponsible persons so that it would never happen again,” he said, adding that the incident could cause uneasiness among the people.
Elango said Dr Zambry took a serious view of the matter and would repair all the damages in the temple.
Ipoh OCPD Asst Comm Sum Chang Keong confirmed police have arrested the man and will investigate him under Section 298a of the Penal Code for causing disharmony.
ACP Sum said police arrested the man after he crashed his car at a bus stop.
“We believe the suspect has mental problems. We will be sending him for psychiatric checks.”
ACP Sum also urged the people not to make the matter into a racial issue.
It is learned that two black flags with symbols were seized from the suspect’s car.