Vijayawada: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, on Monday, virtually inaugurated the police duty meet which is being held for the first time in six years, in Tirupati. He said that there is a need to tackle 'political guerrilla warfare' in the state being perpetuated in the form of vandalism of religious idols.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that the duty meet will help better the police functionary and recommended that similar events be held every year. The chief minister also suggested that the police officials include the current state of affairs in the Ignite programme.

The chief minister criticised the opposition party leaders for playing cheap politics by using religion to divert people's attention from the work the government is doing. "Who actually benefits from smashing idols of God? Who benefits from anarchy in temples and chapels? Who benefits from provoking emotions and committing violence? Who benefits from making false propaganda that hurts people's faith? Who are being targeted by these evil acts? People need to ask these questions," said the chief minister.

Elaborating on these issues, he said, that when the state government started the Nadu-Nedu programme in Ongole on 14 November 2019, on the same day, the opposition protested the demolition of a Durga temple in Guntur district that occurred during road widening. "That temple had been shifted to its new premises even before the road widening started," he clarified. He mentioned another incident which happened on 15 January 2020, when the government set up a market intervention fund with Rs 3,000 crore to purchase crops by paying the Minimum Support Price to the farmers. To divert attention from this, the opposition vandalised Anjaneya Swamy temple in Pithapuram on January 21, he alleged. After one week of launching the first Disha Police Station, nearly three such incidents took place across the state, he added. Similar incidents were orchestrated during the distribution of house sites, including the desecration of Ramalayam in Vizianagaram district.

Jagan stated that most of the temples are not covered under the Endowments Department and these attack on temples has been happening in remote areas during late hours when no one is around, especially in private temples owned by the opposition. "We already installed CCTV cameras in 20,000 temples and yet, through a section of media and social platforms, opposition leaders are campaigning on these issues for political gain," he said.

Drawing a comparison between the previous TDP and the current YSRCP governments, the chief minister said that the previous government had instructed the police not to take action against their party people despite being involved in illegal actions. "But our government has made it clear that whoever commits any unlawful act should be punished even if they belong to our own party. Earlier, the police used to handle only robbery cases, but now the era has changed and they have to deal with cybercrime, white-collar criminals, and now people are not even sparing God," he said.

Among the various issues discussed during the meet were cybercrime and women's safety, besides focusing on adapting the latest technology by signing agreements with world-renowned companies and premier institutions like the IIT.

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