Tirupati: In a video which is being widely shared on social media, a devotee is thrashed by the security personnel in Tirupati for allegedly breaking the norms. The incident took place on Thursday at the Alipiri check-post in Tirupati, the main entrance to the temple town of Tirumala.
As per the details, the devotee hailing from Tamil Nadu, Dilli Babu was traveling in an Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) bus to Tirumala. When he was found reportedly carrying a few packets of 'gutka' (chewing tobacco) with him, the security personnel, belonging to the Special Protection Force (SPF), seized the gutkha packets and threw them into a bin.
As per the rules, tobacco and alcohol are strictly prohibited in Tirumala, which is governed by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD).
However, the devotee went ahead to pick the packet and placed it in his bag once again which angered the security personnel. Subsequently, the security personnel dragged him and repeatedly thrashed him.
In the video, one can see a few other policemen also joining the security personnel in the assault. Despite the devotee's family members requesting to let him go, they continued with the assault.
The entire incident was caught on camera by a bystander, who also is learned to have sustained injuries.
With the video going viral, varied opinions came to the fore. While some opined that the security personnel who should act in a restrained manner without getting provoked, others supported the SPF personnel’s action in treating the issue as a crime.
An internal investigation has been initiated by the TTD with the Executive Officer (EO) Anil Kumar Singhal seeking a report on the incident.
Responding to the incident, Assistant Vigilance and Security Officer (AV&SO) A. Surendra was quoted saying, "The high-handedness of the security sleuths should be condemned. They do not have any right to punish the devotees, though they violate the rules. We will take stringent action against the guilty in the incident."
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