Antarvedi, Sep 9 (IANS) Police in Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district on Wednesday set up checkposts to monitor the movement of people to the temple village of Antarvedi, a day after videos of crowds barging into the temple courtyard emerged.
“Police set up the checkposts and quizzed people for the reason they wanted to head in the direction of Antarvedi,” T Praveen, a resident of Malkipuram near the temple village, told IANS.
Police are allowing people to pass only after cross-checking with them, he said.
Praveen said a police checkpost was set up near the Gudimellanka bridge, from where the road leads to Antarvedi via Malkipuram.
East Godavari Superintendent of Police Adan Nayeen Asmi has already appealed for a lesser number of devotees to visit the temple amid concerns about law and order.
However, Praveen said the situation is not tense.
The videos of people barging into the temple on Tuesday cropped up, showing the police was not able to control the crowd.
Waving saffron flags and chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’, the people ran into the temple courtyard, where a room where a chariot went up in flames is located beside a water tanker.
Later, the crowd was seen chanting slogans and singing religious songs on a nearby road, demonstrating against the loss of the chariot.
According to sources, a few policemen were beaten up in the melee, leading to tightening of security and setting up of checkposts.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh BJP President Somu Verraju accused the state government of indulging in “religious politics for political dividends”.
He accused both the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) of being biased towards certain sections of the population and claimed that the BJP was the only party which opposed “anti-Hindu activities”.
On Saturday night, a six-decade-old wooden chariot of the famous Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple in Antarvedi in East Godavari district was gutted in a fire under mysterious circumstances. Police is awaiting the forensic report in the case.
The scenic Antarvedi is located in the lush green Konaseema region of East Godavari district, 200 km east of Vijaywada.