This is the shocking moment a group of yobs intentionally push over an ancient pillar at a popular UNESCO World Heritage site in India.
The incident took place at the Group of Monuments at Hampi in the southern Indian state of Karnataka which came second in the New York Times’ list of ‘52 Places to Go in 2019’ earlier this month – the only Indian site to make the list.
The Hampi temples and palace ruins belonged to the Vijayanagara Empire and were damaged when a coalition of Muslim sultanates defeated them in 1565 and took their capital city.
Video Credit: AsiaWire
Prior to that, Hampi-Vijayanagara was considered the world’s second-largest medieval-era city after Beijing.
In the shocking footage, three men are seen pushing a standing pillar off a platform onto the ground below and one of them raises his hands when it breaks into two pieces.
The video caused outrage and a group of residents staged a protest demanding that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) improves the security at heritage sites such as Hampi.
Vishwanath Malagi, spokesman for the protest group ‘Vijayanagara Smaraka Samskrithi Samrakshana Sene (VSSS)’ told local media: “No one cares about the monuments here. Two to three years ago, someone damaged pillars at Achyutha Raya Bazaar.”
Meanwhile, the ASI has reportedly claimed that the video is not recent, something which Malagi believes is to deflect criticism and charges of negligence.
He said: “If the ASI knew that the video was shot a year ago, why did they not report it and file a police complaint then? They are only trying to protect themselves as they are to blame for negligence.”
Malagi believes that the problem is not being “taken seriously” enough and called on the government to do more to protect India’s historical sites.