The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Monday said that 'evil practices' like religious conversion and cow slaughter should be kept at bay in Andhra's holy town of Tirupati.
The Hindu reported that VHP international joint general secretary Y Raghavulu, was in the city to conduct a six-day training camp for women and girls drawn from the six southern districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The report adds:
He said 50,000 camps were being held across the country to sensitise people, especially the dwellers of hilly terrains, fishermen living in coastal areas and the tribal communities in forest areas, who are vulnerable to conversion, terrorist or anti-social activities.
The report also quotes him as saying, "We are not demanding a ban on cow slaughter in Mecca, but only in Tirupati, which holds a lot of sentiment to the Hindus and hence a sensitive place. The civic administration should take pre-emptive steps before the issue blows up into a full-fledged law and order problem in future."
Earlier this week, another Hindu group, the Hindu Chaitanya Samithi (HCS) demanded that a gospel meeting by Christian missionaries coinciding with the Tirumala Srivari Brahmotsavam be halted.
HCS president Tumma Omkar addressed the media in Tirupati last Monday and alleged that the missionaries were organizing the event to deliberately coincide with the Brahmotsavam.
There were also demands for closure of meat shops and liquor outlets in areas in and around the city.