Kancheepuram: In a viral video, the district collector of Kancheepuram can be seen abusing and threatening a cop for allowing 'common' devotees in the VIP enclosure at the Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kancheepuram district.
The Devarajaswamy temple in Kancheepuram, about 70 km from Chennai, has been witnessing the heavy rush of devotees ever since the darshan of the deity's idol made of fig wood, called "athi' in Tamil began, on July 1 after it was taken out from the temple tank on June 27.
Varadaraja Perumal temple's central deity remains immersed in a tank and comes out for public display only once in forty years. Scores of devotees line up to pay their obeisance to the deity.
The district collector hits out at the officer for allowing devotees to go without showing their passes.
Watch the video here:
"Did you come to cheat? I'll finish you. What checks are you doing? So many are without passes. When VIPs come, they stand like mud. Senior IPS officers and important ministers are coming. You are finished. You are suspended today," the district collector can be seen yelling in the video.
The collector yells at the state police, calling them 'arrogant'.
"You police personnel are arrogant. Where is the Inspector General? Ask him to come. Suspend him. Come what may," he says.
The cop can be seen trying to explain his part but the district collector brushes it away. The police officer can also be heard saying sorry, to which he snaps saying. "What sorry?"
The inspector has been identified as Ramesh from Tiruvallur district, according to a TV channel.
However, the district collector later tried to explain his behaviour saying he got emotional.
"District officials and the police work as a team and there was nothing against an individual officer or the police department," he was quoted saying by the channel.
But police officers on condition of anonymity said the collector's behaviour was that of bureaucratic 'high-handedness'.
The 48-day "Athivaradar festival" has been drawing huge crowds, including women and senior citizens, since the first day. President Ram Nath Kovind offered prayers to the deity on July 12.
Sometimes, devotees queue up for 12 hours or more for ‘darshan’. But VIPs and VVIPs have to wait for 30 minutes for the darshan.
Meanwhile, the state administration has come under huge criticism for poor management after at least six people died either waiting for or returning from "darshan" last month.
There have been complaints from the public about 'lack' of proper arrangements for the devotees who have to wait for long hours to have darshan.
A top police official ruled out a "stampede like situation" but agreed that there was a huge crowd Thursday. Sources said the victims could not put up with the exhaustion and fatigue since they had to exert themselves for hours together.
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