A 39-year-old man was arrested by Greater Chennai Police (GCP) for throwing a petrol bomb at a temple located near Parrys corner in the northern part of the city.
According to the police, at 8:45 am., the accused, identified as J MuraliKrishanan, had entered the Sri Veerabhadra Swamy temple at the Athiyappa street-Govindappa Naicken Street Junction and hurled the bottle filled with petrol at the deity inside the temple.
Umachandran, a priest at the temple, said that the man had entered with a bottle-like object, lit it with a lighter and hurled it towards the deity.
“We were sitting outside when a man entered the temple wearing slippers and went near the garbhagriha and was shouting that God did not answer his prayers. He then threw the bottle. We were not near the deity, so none of us got injured. The flowers offered to God were burnt. Four of us were present there. After hearing the sound, everyone rushed inside and poured water to douse the flame,” he added.
After being alerted by the public, the police reached the spot and arrested the accused. The temple was locked following the incident. According to sources, the accused, who was running a wholesale and retail dry fruit business, suffered a setback and was dejected over not being able to come over it.
The CCTV visual of the accused, wearing a face mask and pouring the petrol into a beer bottle sitting inside a tea shop, has gone viral on social media.
In a statement, the police said that the accused, who has previous cases against him, had been a regular visitor to the temple. The police added that initial investigation has revealed that the accused had indulged in the offence due to his incoherent state of mind following heavy intoxication.
The city police also confirmed that no one was injured in the incident.
A case has been registered against Muralikrishnan under the Explosive Substances Act and the police are carrying out further probe.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu BJP President K Annamalai took to X to list the recent petrol bomb attacks in the city, stating that the law-and-order situation in Tamil Nadu has deteriorated.
Holding DMK accountable for the incident, Annamalai said the failure of the ruling government to prevent separatist organisations talking pseudo-secularism, atheism, has now led to petrol bombs being thrown inside temples.