Andhra Pradesh

Three golden crowns missing at Tirupati’s Sri Govindarajaswamy temple

A view of the TTD’s Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple in Tirupati, from where three golden crowns went missing on Saturday, February 2, 2019.

A view of the TTD’s Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple in Tirupati, from where three golden crowns went missing on Saturday, February 2, 2019.   | Photo Credit: K.V. PoornachandraKumar

Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams and police stunned; six teams formed to probe the case from six different angles

Three golden crowns went missing at Sri Govindarajaswamy temple at Tirupati on Saturday. The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) and the police were shocked at the manner in which the crowns - weighing a combined 1300 grams of gold, with precious stones studded all over - went missing from the temple located at the heart of the city.

The temple always witnesses heavy crowds. With TTD’s security sleuths standing at vantage spots and CCTV cameras installed at crucial points, it is almost impossible to clandestinely ferry valuables outside the temple complex.

The alleged theft is said to have happened when the priests were engaged in their routine work after the ‘Suprabhatham’ ritual on Saturday. A woman constable in the TTD’s vigilance service noticed the missing crowns and alerted the priests, who in turn informed the higher officials. 

TTD’s Joint Executive Officer Pola Bhaskar, Chief Vigilance and Security Officer Gopinath Jatti and Superintendent of Police (Tirupati Urban) K.K.N. Anburajan visited the temple and probed the temple staff as well as the priests to gather clues.

"Headed by two Deputy Superintendents of Police, we have formed six teams to probe the case from six different angles," Mr. Anburajan told The Hindu. To a query if it could be the handiwork of someone on temple duty, he said the probe would also encompass the ‘insider’ angle. 

BJP leaders protest ‘vigilance breach’

Meanwhile, BJP leaders and activists led by State general secretary G. Bhanuprakash Reddy and spokesperson Samanchi Srinivas squatted in front of the temple demanding a white paper on the status of security in TTD’s local temples.

"There have been instances of jewellery going missing in TTD temples in the past too. The present instance is indicative of vigilance breach as well as lack of accountability over precious and antique jewellery. We demand the State government announce a probe by a sitting or retired judge into the matter", Mr. Reddy said.

The crowns are adorned to the processional deities of Sri Venkateswara, His consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi, consecrated close to the presiding deity (Moolavirat) of Sri Govindaraja, who is seen in a reclining position in the sanctum sanctorum. Mythologically, Govindaraja is considered the elder brother of Sri Venkateswara, who gets tired on continuously measuring the riches earned by his brother and thus gets to a reclining position, keeping the measuring container beside.    

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 12:53:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/three-golden-crowns-missing-at-tirupatis-sri-govindarajaswamy-temple/article26166934.ece

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