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Visakhapatnam: Fresh controversy brewing over Chandanotsavam

Visakhapatnam: Fresh controversy brewing over Chandanotsavam
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Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Devasthanam
Highlights

It arises out of the temple staff defying the government orders and allowing a group of people, including two cops, to witness the celebrations amid lockdown restrictions

Visakhapatnam: The annual Chandanotsavam at Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Devasthanam concluded on April 26 sans devotees. But a slew of controversies are brewing over some of the incidents happened on the day.

Keeping the Covid-19 in view, the Simhachalam Devasthanam has decided to celebrate Chandanotsavam sans devotees this year. A GO towards this was issued ahead of the festival.

According to the GO, VVIPs and VIPs were not allowed into the temple during the festival. Even the first 'Nijarupa darshan' which was normally witnessed by the hereditary trustee of the Devasthanam along with the family members had now been confined to the Devasthanam chairperson alone.

The GO further mentioned that a minimum of religious and administration staff should participate in the rituals. However, though the entry was blocked for the devotees and VIPs, the CCTV footage revealed a different picture.

With information about those not having access to the temple entering the premises to have 'Nijarupa darshan', fresh controversy brewed over the unauthorised entry to the shrine. The temple Executive Officer M Venkateswara Rao called for a detailed inquiry into the incident.

It is learnt that the chief priest G Gopala Krishnamacharyulu had allegedly allowed a person to the temple premises on the day. Based on this, the chief priest was temporarily suspended by the EO on the next day of Chandanotsavam.

But the controversy did not end there. When the CCTV footage was retrieved, sources said that the temple authorities came to know that over a dozen persons gained discreet access to the temple on the day.

Though many wanted to have Nijarupa darshan, including Sri Tridandi Chinna Jeeyar Swami, Sri Sarada Peetham seer Sri Swaroopanandendra Saraswathi, Ministers and public servants, the access was denied to them. However, some of the devotees gaining access to the temple reportedly with the help of a few temple staff raise eyebrows.

Sources said that a couple of cops also form a part of the group who gained access to the temple during lockdown. How did they reach the temple? Who allowed them to access Nijarupa darshan? How many gained unauthorised entry to the shrine? A detailed inquiry into the incident is likely to expose the staff involved in the violation of the GO issued.

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