The Andhra Pradesh government on Tuesday suspended an official of the Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada for her alleged involvement in a silk saree going missing from the temple.
Action was initiated against Trust Board member Surya Latha after a preliminary enquiry. She has now been asked by the chairman not to attend her duties till the entire investigation process is complete.
The saree was donated by devotees and had kicked up a massive row earlier this week when it went missing. CCTV footage later showed the saree exchanging hands with Surya Latha. However, she has since claimed that it was a different saree that was seen in the footage.
“We are taking the allegations made by devotees very seriously and will not tolerate anyone who defames the sanctity of the temple. Surya Latha has refused to accept the suspension memo and has demanded that a board meeting be held where she can place her version on record. However, I have rejected her demand,” Trust Board chairman Gouranga Babu was quoted as saying.
This also comes days after it was reported that a saree donated by the Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao went missing from the Kaleshwaram temple. The saree was donated by the chief minister in 2016 as part of a personal vow.
The theft came to light as part of an audit of all temples in the state undertaken by the endowment department. The department has initiated action against some employees, including a superintendent, in connection with the theft.
In June this year, KCR had presented an offering of a nose stud to the presiding diety at the Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada. Before the state of Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated, KCR had vowed that he would present gold ornaments to various gods and goddesses after the state of Telangana was carved out.