GEORGE TOWN — The recent vandalism of idols at Hindu temples in Penang is believed to be the work of a 45-year-old drug addict and has nothing to do with any racial issue or Daesh militants, police said yesterday.
Penang Police Chief Datuk Abdul Ghafar Rajab said the Indian man was arrested at Jalan Nipah 4, Sungai Dua, here on Wednesday and he admitted to damaging three idols at the Sri Muneiswaran Temple in Jalan Tengku Kudin here on July 10.
“He was high on drugs at the time of his arrest,” he told a press conference here.
The man was identified from CCTV camera recordings when he damaged idols at the Hindu temple in Paya Terubong at about 11.30am last Tuesday, he said.
Five cases of idols being damaged at Hindu temples occurred recently and the police set up a special squad, led by Penang Deputy Police Chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan, to handle the matter.
Abdul Ghafar said the man had 13 criminal records, seven of which were crime-related and six on drugs.
Asked for the motive of the man in damaging the idols, he said: “We believe he could be angry over something or intended to steal the jewellery at the temples.”
He said the police recovered jewellery from the man, among them gold rings, chains and lockets, as well as a sickle and two modile phones.
Abdul Ghafar said the police were investigating whether the same man was involved in the damaging of idols at three other temples in the state and whether he was operating alone or had company.
Besides the temples in Jalan Tengku Kudin and Paya Terubong, idols were also damaged at two temples at Penanti Estate, Ara Kuda, near here in early June and at a temple in Bayan Baru on July 2. — Bernama