The Andhra Pradesh unit of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) demanded an investigation into missing ornaments from the treasury of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board (TTD). The ornaments worth over Rs 7 lakh allegedly went missing three years ago from the treasury of TTD which manages the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.
The cost of the ornaments was recovered from the monthly income of the trust's official who was then in charge of the treasury. A total of Rs 25,000 was retrieved for eight-month between 2018 and 2019. One silver crown, two golden rings, two necklaces, gold, silver, aluminum and copper coins worth more than Rs 7 lakh went missing. Earlier, on April 22, the chief secretary of the state, LV Subrahmanyam had ordered an inquiry for the casualties in the security of the TTD while transferring the donations, especially gold.
The state BJP leader Bhanu Prakash Readdy believes that the authorities were trying to put a veil on someone. He also demanded a probe instead of ending the case by just recovering the money.
He said, "The trust did not file a criminal case but simply recovered the money from the salary of the trust's Assistant Executive Officer. Are they trying to save someone? We demand a probe,"
Anil Kumar Singhal, the TTD Executive Officer informed that as per practice, the value of missing ornaments is recovered from the official in charge. Therefore, the value of these missing ornaments was drawn from the officer.
He said, "It was found that the ornaments worth Rs 7.36 lakh were missing. Accordingly, we recovered the amount from the Assistant Executive Officer”.
Singhal also informed that the ornaments will be re-inspected in September. In case any part of the treasury is deemed missing, an entire department inquiry shall initiate against the alleged officer-in-charge. He also stated that all necessary precautions were taken for the safety of the donations made by the devotees. Explaining the process by which these donations are made, Singhal said it requires optimum documentation before the acceptance in the treasury. Singhal also reported that M Srinivasulu, an assistant executive officer himself had reported the value of ornaments missing as per the certification of October 2017 as Rs 7,36,375. Later, investigations revealed that the assistant officer was responsible for the misplaced ornaments.
(with inputs from ANI)