Hampi : Happy ending for Heritage lovers as Court makes the vandal re-erect the pillars
India is a land of historical sites many of its monuments have been declared as world heritage sites. But ruining its reputation a video of vandalism of the historical Hampi went Viral last month, which distressed every Indian and history lover.
The said video had two men pushing and destroying erect pillars at the UNESCO World Heritage site Hampi. The video, which appeared to be a recording of an Instagram story, went viral after it was posted by one Ayush Sahu. After the video was posted people became furious and few even took to the streets asking the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to take strict action and better care of heritage sites, In fact the video and the vandalsing news even made to Intenrtionally with The New York Times publishing about the vandalism, all of which made the police spring into action determined to take action against the cowardly act.
But to save from the international embarrassment the ASI first said that the said video is an year old, which made the public even more furious asking to get the justice done for such an historical site.
A protest was staged by the Vijayanagara Smaraka Samskrithi Samrakshana Sene (VSSS), demanding protection of the monuments. According to Vishwanath Malagi, convenor of VSSS, a few years ago, pillars at Achyutha Raya Bazaar had been damaged by someone, and nobody seems to care about the protection of these structures, not even the ASI. The ASI itself is responsible for damaging the Virupaksha Bazaar pillars.
Viswanath further accused ASI of escaping the charges of negligence by claiming that the video is old. “There is the State Archaeology Department, Archaeological Survey of India and Hampi World Heritage Management Authority. All of them are just cooling their heels. No one is bothered about the monuments,” he said Speaking tgo Media.
He questioned that if the ASI indeed knew that this was an old video, why did they not file a complaint earlier? A special DySP is needed to keep a track on people who are damaging the monuments.
The four men, who were seen on the video destroying the pillars were arrested by the police. According to reports, Judge Poornima Yadav of the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Court in Hosapete ordered the youth to pay Rs 70,000 each as penalty and also ordered them to help in the re-erecting of the pillars, reported The News Minute. They were released after they paid a total of Rs 2.8 lakhs in fine and also helped the authorities re-erect the pillar. They also had to assure the court that they would not do any such acts of vandalising again.
Destroying and vandalising heritage sites is one of the worst forms of crime, and they should be addressed more strictly. As Vishwanath said, crimes like these cannot be treated as a mere traffic violation which can be solved with a small warning. As responsible citizens of the country, it is our duty to value these heritage sites and ensure that they are properly protected.