Devotees of Sai Baba have filed a police complaint against the removal of his idol from a temple in South Delhi's Shahpur Jat in March this year.
"A few Sai Baba devotees from across the city filed a complaint stating that their sentiments have been hurt by the removal. We are looking into the matter," the police said.
The Sai baba idol was taken down from the Purana Shiv Mandir in Shahpur Jat on March 25 and was replaced by a Ganesh idol.
While the temple committee members claim the idol was dislodged because it was old, a viral video which purportedly shows workers trying to remove the idol, while a man ordering them alleges, "He was no God, he died in 1918, he was a Muslim…"
"Mullah hai," says another voice in the background in the video.
DCP South, Atul Kumar Thakur, said that they were "inquiring into the matter".
The man in the video, identified as Padam Panwar, told The Indian Express, "The idol was taken down because it was old. It is a tradition in the Hindu religion to take down idols when they become old. The temple is being reconstructed. Once the new half of the temple is ready, we will have a meeting and take a call on whether a new Sai Baba idol will be set up or not."
Panwar also said that the viral video is fake.
Another temple committee member, Bharat Panwar, said: "The Sai Baba idol was placed here in 2009… For now, a Ganesh idol has been set up and the Sai Baba idol has been removed… All decisions by the temple committee are taken bearing the residents' wishes in mind and no resident had any complaint."
The complaint filed on March 31 and addressed to the police, reads, "A few people came in and broke the idol of Shri Sai Baba while saying the idol should be removed as he is not a Hindu god but belongs to Muslims. We request you to kindly take action against the culprits who conducted this heinous crime as this hurts the sentiments of people who believe in Sai Baba. We request you to ensure the restoration of Baba's idol in the same temple premises as soon as possible."