Probe Will Unravel Truth Behind Lion Statues' Missing In Vijayawada Temple: Minister

 - Sakshi Post

AMARAVATI: Three lion statues that adorn the silver-plated chariot of the historic Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada atop Indrakeeladri were found missing, prompting Endowments Minister Velampalli Srinivasa Rao to form a departmental committee to look into the matter.

Soon after the incident was reported, the minister had visited the temple and inspected it. He told media that temple staff found the statues missing and later alerted the management. He said that investigation will reveal whether the lions were missing now or since the previous regime.

The chariot, used only on special occasions, was placed at the Mahamandapam on the foothills of the temple. The four sides of the chariot is adorned with a silver lion, made up of three kilograms of silver, and of them three are missing, while the fourth one has some damages on it.

The incident comes close on heels of the chariot burning in Antarvedi. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had entrusted the CBI to probe into it. The Chief Minister's Office said in a release that YS Jagan has taken the issue "seriously." "In spite of this, and the local investigation which the AP police have taken as a challenge, some political parties and organisations have been demanding for a CBI investigation. As a full transparent government, the Chief Minister has directed the Director-General of Police to hand over the investigation to the CBI," the CMO release said.

The 62-year-old wooden chariot at the famous Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Antarvedi in East Godavari district was gutted in a mysterious fire in the wee hours on the intervening night of September 5 and 6. The 40-feet high chariot made of teak wood was parked in a shed on the temple premises. The chariot is normally used only during the Radhotsavam at the Lord's celestial wedding festivities. Rao had said that the new chariot will be ready by February next year.

In another incident, a Sai Baba statue was found broken in Vijayawada's Nidamanuru village, while unidentified persons installed idols of Lord Shiva and Nandi at famous Srikalahasti Temple few days back in other incident.

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