Man sneaks into Tirumala with revolver
Tirumala: A 60-year-old man was caught with a .38 revolver and a dozen bullets in the Vaikuntam Queue Complex-II on Tirumala this evening. The man, identified as Biyanth Kumar from Rampur in Maharashtra, had come to Tirumala from Chennai. He had managed to get through the security at Alipiri and Tirumala, but was caught at the Vaikuntam Queue Complex by police personnel led by Reserve Inspector R Nagamalleswar Rao.
When questioned, he claimed he had brought the revolver as none had informed him that weapons were not allowed inside the temple. He was arrested and taken to an undisclosed location for further interrogation. A case has been registered.
The incident is being treated as a major security lapse, considering that security was tightened in view of State police chief K Aravinda Rao's visit.
Aravinda Rao himself admitted that it was a security lapse. In a brief interaction with media persons while coming out of the temple, he complimented the security staff at the Vaikuntam Queue Complex for apprehending the person with the firearm but was visibly angry with the security personnel at Alipiri for failing to catch him.
This is not the first time that a pilgrim with a firearm was apprehended. In December last, a Bihari was found to be in possession of a country-made pistol. The youngster, it later turned out, was carrying the weapon for self-protection after he had eloped with a girl.
A few months back, a Maharashtrian youngster was caught with a digital camera inside the temple. By the time he was caught, he had snapped pictures of the sanctum sanctourm. In a far more serious incident, the gold leaves of the Golden Chariot in front of the temple were also stolen in recent times.
News Posted: 24 May, 2011