Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy presented a pair of ‘silk vastrams’ to the temple of Lord Venkateswara on behalf of the State government in connection with the annual Brahmotsvams that took off to a pompous start on Saturday.
After a brief ceremony at the Bedi Anjaneya Swamy temple situated in front of the main temple complex, the temple priests strapped the customary ‘Parivattam’ to the Chief Minister, who was accompanied by wife Radhika Reddy, and carried the sacred vastrams in a silver plate over his head and proceeded towards the main temple complex preceded by over half-a-dozen caparisoned temple elephants, horses, bulls and other temple paraphernalia and formally handed them over to the chief priest inside the sanctum sanctorum.
Meanwhile, the temple town was brought under a thick blanket of security cover with the news spreading that two Islamic extremists, alleged to have masterminded a terrorist attack during the on going Brahmotsavams, were nabbed by the Octopus commandos in a joint operation under taken by the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu police at Puttur, about 40 km from Tirupati.
It is against this backdrop that checking and frisking were intensified in and out of the main temple complex as well as on the mada streets encircling the hill shrine through which the two-time daily processions of the deity would be organised on all the days during the nine-day festival, besides at the Alipiri toll gate and other focal points.
The bags and baggage’s of the pilgrims entering Vaikuntam queue complex for darshan as well as those reaching the town on foot were thoroughly checked.
CM’s hassle-free ride up the hill
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s journey from Renigunta airport to Tirumala hills was hassle-free, amidst speculations of blockade by Samaikyandhra protesters here on Saturday.
Even though some agitators tried to halt the Chief Minister’s convoy at Alipiri, police arrested the troublemakers and whisked them away from the spot.
They also removed the tent pitched by Samaikyandhra activists on Friday, and deployed additional forces to prevent any untoward incident.