Andhra CM Naidu wants probe into alleged disappearance, theft of Tirumala temple jewellery
The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to order a judicial inquiry by a high court judge into the allegations of disappearance and theft of antique jewellery worth hundreds of crores of rupees at the Venkateswara Temple in Chittoor district’s Tirumala.
Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday wrote a letter to the Hyderabad high court acting chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan requesting him appoint a sitting high court judge ‘to take stock of the allegations, verify the records, inspect the jewellery, ornaments and assets, scrutinise the procedures in vogue and place a report in the public domain.’
Naidu said that the state government had ordered inquiries by two independent judicial commissions – one by justice Jagannatha Rao in 2009 and the other by justice Wadhwa in 2011 for verification of the jewellery, when there were instances of maligning the temple and Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the organisation that manages the country’s richest temple.
“The need has arisen again to dispel fears and apprehensions of millions of devotees across the comprehensive verification by a sitting high court judge, as the sensitivity of the issue reached alarming proportions and any amount of counter justification that all is well either by the TTD or the government is unable to provide solace to the public at large and devotees in particular,” he said.
Naidu’s letter comes after the retired head priest of the temple AV Ramana Deekshitulu last week sought a central inquiry into the alleged financial irregularities in the temple administration, disappearance of antique jewellery, including a pink diamond, worth hundreds of crores of rupees donated by several kings, digging of temple kitchen to unearth hidden treasure and other issues.
Deekshitulu announced that he would also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon to put forth his demand and threatened to take up fast unto death in July if his demand was not conceded.
The TTD trust board, which met in Tirumala on Tuesday, decided to strip Ramana Deekshitulu of his Agama advisor post, which he had been holding despite his retirement in May. He was replaced by present head priest Venugopala Deekshitulu.
TTD chairperson Putta Sudhakar Yadav also announced that all the jewellery of the lord would be put on display for the media soon so that they could see the deliberate misinformation being spread about the trust.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Omar Abdullah chided BJP's Suvendu Adhikari who was quoted a saying the "Bengal will become like Kashmir" if the Trinamool Congress returns to power in the assembly election.
- Two hundred kg of cocaine and 60 kg of hashish were seized from the boats registered in Sri Lanka
- Brahamchari Atmabodhanand of Haridwar's Matri Sadan ashram wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, describing his fast as ‘tapasya’, a fight against corruption and for preserving the environment.
- The President was on a two-day visit to Madhya Pradesh. Sunday's 'Janjatiya Sammelan' where he delivered his speech was organised by the MP Tribal Welfare Department.
- The Shiv Sena's mouthpiece Saamana asked what was the need to revisit the same topic again and again when it has become obsolete.
- India is behind only the United States and the United Kingdom in terms of the total number of people receiving vaccination, data from the health ministry shows.