August 9 – An unidentified group has vandalized the popular tourist spot Kakrebihar at Latikoili of Birendranagar-9 in Surkhet district in series of attacks. The group targeted Kakrebihar as the reconstruction of this archeologically important site was in the last phase.
Sita Karki, the caretaker of the spot, said that the unidentified persons vandalized the place on Saturday, Sunday and Monday night. She narrated, “The group has damaged the ticket counter, basin, wall and the main gate”
The caretakers and ticket counter’s staffs stay at the place at noon only. For lack of security guards, the place which is in vicinity of a forest remains unattended at night thereby becoming vulnerable to the untoward attacks.
Meanwhile, Birendranagar-9 ward office has expressed concern over the damages. Ward chair Suresh Manandhar said that they will appeal the District Police Office (DPO), Surkhet to identify the culprits and bring them to book.
Police have already taken the stock of the damages. ‘Kakrebihar is one of the major tourist attractions of our Province,” said Manandhar, adding that the place boasts of artifacts of archeological importance.
An artistic 21-metre temple in Sikhar (peak) style in the Kakrebihar was under-construction, according to him.
The DPO, Surkhet has drawn the attention of ward office to install electricity, CCTV cameras and appoint security guards in the Kakrebihar for security reasons.
Superintendent of Police (SP) Basanta Rajaure said that police was searching for the culprits. “We have stepped up manhunt and surveillance in the place,” said SP Rajaure.
Buddha’s statue kept in Police Office
The Buddhists had planned to install a huge Buddha’s statue in the Kakrebihar few years ago to which the Hindus in the locality did not give a nod. This was because the latter had been providing protection to the place and claimed that it would not be appropriate to claim the place to be a Buddhist’s shrine.
Furthermore, the local Hindus argued that the Department of Archeology was implementing its programme in the site and it was not good to install the Buddha’s statue.
Debated ensued when the Buddhist community here claimed that the remnants of the statues in the Kakrebihar belonged to their community. To avert communal clash, the DPO, Surkhet has been housing the Buddha’s statute in its premises since five years and it will be kept here until local authorities reach to a conclusion on it.