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Crowd Kills Man For Hammering On Deity
By: RSS/News FeedsHungZai Team

The shrine of Hindu god Brahma is covered in white cloth Tuesday after a mentally ill man destroyed it.

Devotees pray outside the shrine after a mob fatally beat the man who destroyed it.

A 27-year-old mentally disturbed man was beaten to death by enraged onlookers at a world-famous shrine in downtown Bangkok after he destroyed a popular statue of a Hindu deity with a hammer, police said.

Thanakorn Pakdeepol, who police said had a history of mental illness, was killed after he broke into the Erawan Shrine and used a hammer to shatter a four-headed statue of Brahma covered in gold gilt. Thousands of Thais and tourists seek good fortune at the statue every day.

Police Col. Suphisal Pakdinarunaj said two men were arrested in connection with the killing early Tuesday morning.

The Web site of the newspaper The Nation identified them as Bangkok garbage collectors, held on charges of second degree murder, and said police were investigating whether other people were also involved.

The newspaper said police found Thanakorn lying not far from the shrine with a head wound, a cut above his left eye and bruises on his back. He died before he could be taken to a hospital just across the street.

“I feel sorry that he destroyed the Brahma statue, which is highly respected by Thai people,” Thanakorn’s father, Sayant, was quoted saying.

Many devotees of the shrine rushed to the site after hearing the news. What little remained of the statue was covered by a cloth.

Astrology and fortune telling still play a major role in Thai life.

Visitors to the shrine usually promised devotion in exchange for a change in their luck. They ranged the gamut from infertile couples seeking children, to the lovelorn, to entrepreneurs and people seeking an edge in the lottery.

Usually they would bring token offerings such as garlands, incense, candles and teak elephants.

The shrine was originally built in 1956 to ward off bad luck during the construction of an earlier hotel, which was later torn down.

Deputy Prime Minister Surakiart Sathirathai — who is also acting culture minister — visited the site after the attack and ordered the statue rebuilt within two months. He said the restored statue would incorporate as many fragments of the original as possible and would be better protected.

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