Police in north Bali’s Buleleng regency are looking into a case involving one Danish national, identified by his initials LC, who was reported by his ex-wife for allegedly damaging the shrines at her house.
“The suspected person has been questioned. We are still collecting evidence from witnesses,” Vicky Tri Haryanto, who heads the criminal investigation unit at Buleleng Police, told Tribun-Bali.
Authorities were alerted to the incident through a report from LC’s ex-wife, an Indonesian woman identified as Ni Luh Sukerasih, who told Tribun-Bali that she couldn’t accept the damage done to the shrine at her house.
“Even when I am on my period, I will try to stay away from the pelinggih [shrine]. How could he have kicked it repeatedly until it fell? With his feet? I reported him so that this type of incident would not happen again,” Sukerasih said.
Pelinggih is considered sacred by Balinese Hindus, and it is the place where they would place their offerings to the gods.
Sukerasih and LC have reportedly been divorced for five years. LC has remarried since and is living in Banyuwangi, East Java. However, he would still occasionally visit Buleleng.
When the incident happened earlier this week on Tuesday, Sukerasih said she was not at home. She was informed about it by her neighbor, who reportedly took a half-minute video recording LC damaging Sukerasih’s shrines.
There’s not much known yet as to what might have triggered LC into destroying the shrines, but it’s sadly not the first time we’ve seen a foreigner being disrespectful toward holy places in Bali.
On Wednesday, an old Instagram photo from 2017 showed two foreign tourists, one sitting on top of a shrine and another climbing a smaller one in the background. The photo sparked an onslaught of criticisms from netizens and Balinese officials, not unlike the outrage we saw earlier in August, when a video showing a couple from the Czech republic washing the woman’s private parts with holy water from a temple went viral.