The demonstrations broke out after the TTD relieved chief priest A V Ramana Deekshitulu of his duties on Friday.

Hindu groups protest at Tirumala seeking probe into chief priests allegationsFile photo: PTI
news Controversy Sunday, May 20, 2018 - 09:15

A few Hindu organisations held protests and staged a demonstration against the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) on Saturday, questioning its decision to shunt out chief priest AV Ramana Deekshitulu after he made major allegations against the governing board of the temple. 

Demanding a probe into the allegations made by Ramana, Hindu Chaitanya Samithi president T. Omkar told reporters that an inquiry must also be conducted to make the details of the presiding deity’s ornaments public.

According to reports, the ornaments and jewels in question were donated to the temple atop Tirumala during the Srikrishnadevaraya era. 

Ramana had alleged that some of the jewels had been missing for a long time now, but the TTD had refused to make the information public.

The Rayalaseema Porata Samithi (RPS) also expressed doubts about the safety of the jewels, telling a media outlet that a report about a missing diamond by the Chief Vigilance & Security Officer from 2001, should be made public.

The demonstrations broke out after the TTD relieved chief priest A V Ramana Deekshitulu of his duties on Friday.

The TTD Trust Board passed a resolution to state that all 'mirasi archakas' (hereditary priests) must be retired on reaching the age of 65. 

A Venugopala Deekshitulu has now replaced 69-year-old Ramana as head priest at the Lord Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala. 

Speaking to reporters, he said, “All allegations made regarding the ancient jewels of the Lord are baseless. The TTD is maintaining all records. The announcement of retirement of all the Mirasis is definitely a good move, as the next generations will also get an opportunity to serve the lord.”  

Earlier this week, several leaders of the ruling TDP government in Andhra Pradesh lashed out at Ramana and said that he was 'tarnishing the reputation' of the temple.

Addressing the media earlier this week in Chennai, Deekshitulu disclosed that the priests have filed a petition against the administrators demanding transparency pertaining to donations and jewellery, and also to bring the TTD administration under the ambit of the Right to Information Act.



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