In a major row, the Chief Security Officer (CSO) in Andhra Pradesh’s Srisailam temple was caught on camera, thrashing a 16-year-old Tribal boy.
The video shows the CSO, identified as K Nageswara, holding a lathi and hitting the minor on his legs. He then forces the boy to show his hands, and hits him again.
The incident took place in the afternoon of January 8, and was filmed on a mobile camera. The CSO can also be seen in the footage of a CCTV camera.
Watch the video below.
According to reports, the official accused the minor of stealing some coins from certain utensils that were used in an 'Abhisekam'.
Media reports state that the minor used to live and work in the temple as a volunteer, after his father passed away a few years ago.
In his defence, Nageswara said that he observed suspicious activity by the boy which he monitored on the CCTV feed, After this, the minor was summoned to the control room and beaten with the baton.
As the video began circulating online and in media channels, Srisailam Temple Executive Office announced that authorities had suspended Nageswara. They also said that the boy did not work at the temple, and was present as a volunteer.
A complaint was also lodged with the Srisailam One Town police after Tribal organisation protested against the CSO’s behaviour.
The case has been registered under Section 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons) of the IPC and relevant sections of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
This also comes days after Executive Officer A Surya Kumari, from the Kanaka Durga Temple in Vijayawada, was sacked by the Andhra Pradesh government.
The firing came after the local media reported that a tantric ritual took place after the temple was closed, with the knowledge of chief priest Badrinath Babu.
CCTV footage allegedly showed that priests had decked up the presiding deity as Goddess Kali and performed ‘Bhairavi puja’ for more than two hours.
However, authorities and said that the priests had only performed a ritual to ‘clean’ the sanctum sanctorum by reciting mantras, claiming that it was a monthly procedure.