Govt. suspends custodian of Hathiramji mutt

Mahant Arjun Das allegedly committed certain irregularities at the helm of the religious body

January 30, 2020 12:20 am | Updated 12:20 am IST - TIRUPATI

The State Government on Wednesday suspended Mahant Arjun Das as the custodian of the Sri Swamy Hathiramji Mutt, citing certain irregularities committed by him at the helm of the religious body.

Headquartered in Tirupati, the Hathiramji mutt has landholdings across the country. It was also the administrator of the Sri Venkateswara temple at Tirumala until 1933, prior to the formation of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in 1933.

News of the suspension order being served on the custodian of the once-hallowed institution rocked the temple city on Wednesday. The suspension order was served by the Commissioner of the Endowments Department, who is also the Member Secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Dharmika Parishad.

The Dharmika Parishad exercised the powers vested under Section 51(3) of Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act 30/1987 in suspending the Mahant, pending enquiry into charges of irregularities against him.

Sri Kalahastheeswara Swamy Devasthanams Executive Officer C. Chandrasekhar Reddy was given full additional charge of the Hathiramji mutt.

Tense moments were witnessed at the mutt as Mahant Arjun Das remained out of reach for government officials as well as mediapersons who attempted to contact him for his reaction.

Mr. Reddy took charge of the mutt even as the Mahant abstained. “I tried to contact him before taking charge as directed by the State Government. As I failed to get any response after calling him on his phone, I was forced to take charge in his absence,” Mr. Reddy told the media.

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