Bengaluru, Nov 13: The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has issued a notice to Karnataka Endowments Department, finding it guilty of drilling a nail into one of the pillars of the UNESCO-protected Virupaksha Temple in Hampi.
“Any person who moves any antiquity in contravention of a notification issued under sub-section (1) of section 25 shall be punishable with fine which may extend to One lakh rupees: and the court conviction a person of any such contravention may by order direct such person to restore the antiquity to the place from which it was moved. This is for favour of kind information and for further needful action in the matter please,” the notice stated.
This incident occurred during the visit of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to the temple on November 2.
The nail was drilled into the pillar to apparently manage the devotees thronging the temple from the south side and exit from the north, ASI said.
“This office has noticed that, you have closed the actual northern exit of the Virupaksha Temple Garbhagriha by barricading at the steps and a separate way was done for the devotees as such your office has not taken any permission to close the exit and also your office has fixed the MS hollow pipes in between pillars by making holes and inserting the iron piece in the decorative pillars which is the clear violation of the section 30 of AMASR Act (Amendment and Validation Act) 2010,” ASI alleged.
It also alleged that the Karnataka Endowments officials did not seek permission to dig a nail into the heritage site without their consent. ASI made it clear that under the AMASR Act, desecration of a protected monument is punishable with imprisonment that can extend up to 2 years and a fine of upto Rs 1 lakh. (UNI)