The newly installed flag mast at Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple was found damaged on Sunday. The ceremonial installation of the mast was held between 11.50 am and 1.40 pm. 

It is suspected that the miscreants threw some cloth pieces dipped in mercury at the mast, causing damages to it. CCTV visuals show three persons pouring something on the mast, and the police have arrested three persons. 

The installation of the mast was held under the supervision of Thantri Kandararu Rajivaru. 

Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said that it seems the damages were done intentionally as there were no issues with the mast till afternoon. Vengeance and personal enmity are also likely to have driven some persons to commit the crime. There was some difference of opinion regarding construction of flag mast. However, the damages can be rectified quickly, the minister said.