Andhra Pradesh

CBI probe sought into Hathiramji Mutt affairs

The sacking of Mahant Arjun Das by the State Government has brought several mutts and religious institutions in Tirupati under the scanner.

Given Tirupati’s significance, there are several mutts and religious institutions in the city. However, the Hathiramji Mutt enjoyed a great deal of prestige as it used to maintain the Sri Venkateswara temple atop Tirumala till the formation of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in 1933. There were occassional reports of financial impropriety and nepotism at the mutt over the years, with the government choosing to wield the stick this time.

Meanwhile, the sacking of the Mahant has raised dust in political circles. Congress leader P. Naveen Kumar Reddy has alleged foul play in the matter. “By virtue of once being a controlling authority of the Lord’s coffers, the Mutt would have housed rich jewels and priceless ornaments offered by various kings and governments, including Sri Krishna Devaraya, over the years. The government should get the Mutt’s lockers opened in the presence of the Collector, as it involves not just ornaments worth thousands of crores of rupees, but also the temple’s honour,” Mr. Naveen told the media on Thursday.

Mr. Naveen sought a CBI probe into the affairs of the mutt. Citing the example of the Sri Ananta Padmanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram which was found to house antique treasures worth billions of dollars, Mr. Naveen said there was a possibility that the centuries-old Hathiramji Mutt also has a similar vault.

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Printable version | Sep 30, 2020 9:21:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/cbi-probe-sought-into-hathiramji-mutt-affairs/article30696144.ece

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