The police on-duty have prevented free movement of the temple priests on the third day of Dasara festival at Sri Durga Malleswara Swamyvarla Devasthanam atop Indrakeeladri, in Vijayawada.
On September 28, trouble broke out as the police did not allow entry and exit of the priests despite holding “valid passes” issued by the temple administration.
Kanaka Durga temple Upa Pradhana archaka Kota Ravi and sthanacharya Vishnu Prasad Sarma “had to plead” the police to allow their movement. Their requests went in vain as the police constables stuck to their stand. The police argued that they locked the gates following instructions from temple Executive Officer Dharbamulla Bramaramba. The police officers, who were present, did not intervene and solve the problem.
The priests were kept waiting until NTR district Collector Dilli Rao pacified the visibly angered priests. “It’s a small issue. They apologised the priests and the problem was solved,” said Mr. Dilli Rao.
Narrating harrowing experience, Mr. Ravi said the police were reluctant to open the gates even though the problem was informed to the EO. “I telephoned DCP Lakshmipathi. The DCP asked me to switch on the speaker. The police on duty, however, were reluctant to speak to the DCP,” he said.
The temple priests lamented that it has become a herculean task to discharge the duties during Dasara. This is not the first time that the priests were taken for a ride. The passes issued to the priests and staff are not taken into consideration, they said, adding, “we face this problem during every Dasara.”