"Is it not misusing the law and using power and force to threaten people who question them?” Deekshitulu asked.

Ex-TTD chief priest Deekshitulu hits back after Rs 100 cr defamation notice
news Controversy Thursday, June 21, 2018 - 07:48

The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) on Wednesday slapped its former chief priest, AV Ramana Deekshitulu, with a defamation notice claiming damages worth Rs 100 crore, over the allegations made by him. 

In response, Deekshitulu doubled down while speaking to reporters during a press meet in Hyderabad.

“I have received a Rs. 100 crore defamation notice from TTD. I want to ask the TTD whether it is illegal to raise genuine issues and problems associated with the Tirumala temple? They are simply trying to shut my mouth by foisting such ridiculous cases. I raised the issue about lack of transparency in the functioning of TTD. It is the responsibility of TTD officials to provide clarification on such issues,” Deekshitulu was quoted as saying.

“I feel sorry to say that there are lapses in the daily rituals in the temple.  I was removed as the chief priest only because I made serious charges at the state of affairs in the famous temple and the TTD," Deekshitulu added.

Demanding a CBI inquiry, the former TTD chief priest also found fault with the state government and TTD officials citing committee reports from the past, while dismissing the allegations.

“Is the government taking cover under these baseless clean chits given by these people to avoid an inquiry and fool the people? Are these people in any way connected to the CBI? Is it not misusing the law and using power and force to threaten people who question them?” he asked reporters.

Background

In May, Deekshithulu was sacked by authorities on the grounds that he exceeded the retirement age limit. However, this unceremonious sacking came after he levelled shocking allegations against the TTD administration on financial irregularities, and also raised suspicion that several precious ornaments from the temple were missing.

He also claimed that the pink diamond which had been part of the platinum necklace of Lord Venkateshwara, had been stolen and smuggled to Geneva. Making these shocking allegations, Deekshithulu demanded for a CBI inquiry, and also pressed for bringing the TTD under the ambit of the RTI for transparency. 

Meanwhile, the TTD accused Deekshitulu of ‘politicising’ temple affairs and threatened to take legal action against him.

 

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.