Committee formed to formed ‘to protect the sanctity of the Seven Hills’

The campaign against the Heera International Islamic University, established by Shaik Nowhera near Thondavada at the foot of Tirumala hills, has been renewed with a group of Hindu seers demanding its demolition.

At an event billed as Hindu Garjana, organised under the banner of the Tirumala Tirupati Pavitratha Samrakshana Vedika, a platform of pontiffs and activists was formed “to protect the sanctity of the Seven Hills.”

Presiding over the meet, Saiva Kshetra Peetadhipathi Siva Swamiji said the Vedika was not against local Muslims, who he said were in the dark on the issue.

Their opposition was to the way some people from other regions were seeking to build the institution in an inappropriate location.

He blamed the ‘minority appeasement’ policies of politicians, and the unquestioning consent by officialdom, for the problem.

Violation of norms

He said a six-storey structure had been built in the ‘Pushkarini’ (tank) of the dilapidated temple of Thimmappa (as Kannadigas know Lord Venkateswara), in violation of building and urban development norms.

Swaroopanandendra Saraswathi, pontiff of the Sarada Peetham in Visakhapatnam, said seers had to take up the issue as political leaders had failed to address it.

He saw a looming security threat to the shrine in Tirumala. “Hindu temples enjoyed better patronage during the British rule.”

He said a Srivari Dandu (Lord’s army) would be formed to remove the structure.

Hindu Temples Protection Movement founder Kamalananda Bharathi saw a pattern in the periodic attempts by politicians to divide Hindus and Muslims.

“Hindus visit dargahs in Kadapa and Kasumur and participate in Rottela Panduga in Nellore, while many Muslims visit Tirumala. But the politicians are playing mischief.”

Vedika vice-president Srinivasananda, secretary Gouraiah, treasurer Chetan Janardhan, national secretary Ramesh Shinde and spokesperson A. Krishna Kishore took part in the event.