The state's Endowments Department has accused the chief priest of accommodating encroachments in the mutt's properties.

Custodian of Hathiramji mutt at Tirupati sacked by AP govt over alleged irregularitiesImage Credit: Facebook/Mana Tirupati
news Controversy Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 10:12

The custodian of the Hathiramji mutt in Tirupati was sacked by the Andhra Pradesh Endowments Department after allegations of administrative irregularities came to light.

The mahant (chief priest), Arjun Das, was suspended until a pending inquiry into the charges framed against him was completed under Section 51(3) of the Andhra Pradesh charitable and Hindu religious institutions and endowments Act, the Endowments Commissioner said in an order.

The Endowments Commissioner is also a Member Secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Dharmika Parishad, which oversees the affairs of several temples in the state.

The state government has granted C Chandrasekhar Reddy, executive officer of the Kalahasteeswara Swamy Devasthanam, which oversees the Srikalahasti temple in Chittoor district, full additional charge of the Hathiramji mutt.

Speaking to reporters in Tirupati on Wednesday, Chandrasekhar Reddy said that he tried to contact Arjun Das but could not reach him. Attempts made by mediapersons to contact Das for a comment also proved futile.

"As I did not get any response from him on the phone, I am assumed charge at the Hathiramji mutt today in his absence,” he told reporters.

According to reports, the Hathiramji mutt had briefly even administered the Sri Venkateswara atop Tirumala in Andhra Pradesh, before 1933, before the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) was constituted.

The mutt has been embroiled in controversies since then, which include misappropriation of funds among other things. The state's Endowments Department has also accused Das of accommodating encroachments in the mutt's properties, thereby failing in his duty to protect its interests.

The chief priest who was suspended also faces allegations of raping a woman, reports stated.

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