A man who was critically injured after he was allegedly thrashed by security personnel of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in the last week of March, succumbed to his injuries in the temple town on Sunday.
He had been admitted at the Sri Venkateswara Institute of Medical Sciences (SVIMS) at Tirupati for nearly 100 days, and had even slipped into a coma.
The incident came to light after the relatives of 56-year-old Thota Padmanabham staged a protest on Monday at the mortuary of the hospital.
Padmanabham, a native of Eluru in West Godavari district was passing through the darshan queue with his family in March, when security personnel took objection to him, joining the ‘ladies queue'.
The family had claimed that it was unintentional, but the personnel allegedly roughed up the man, and pushed him around. Padmanabham, who was a heart patient, was beaten and fell unconscious, the family alleged.
According to reports, following a case in the Tirumala One Town police station, the accused guards were identified and arrested, but let off on bail later.
Deccan Chronicle reported that his relatives opposed the post-mortem after his death, and demanded stringent action against the security guards responsible, and also sought compensation.
The DC report adds that Padmanabham worked in the Eluru civic body, and had visited Tirumala on a pilgrimage with nine members of his family.
At the time of the incident, the TTD refuted all the allegations made by the family, and accused Padmanabham of verbally arguing with female security staff, after entering the ladies queue.
However, The Hindu reported that the TTD management has agreed to pay an undisclosed amount as compensation/ex gratia to the kin of the deceased.
The report added that it was a practice followed by the TTD on humanitarian grounds to compensate the death of any pilgrim in the temple town, whether it was natural or accidental.