Andhra CM orders CBI inquiry into Antarvedi chariot blaze

Amaravati, Sep 10 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has decided to hand over the probe into the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple’s chariot blaze in East Godavari district to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

“As per the instructions of the Chief Minister of AP, the Director General of Police has written a letter to the central home ministry seeking a CBI inquiry,” said an official.

The CBI move comes five days after the incident happened under mysterious circumstances which the local police department could not crack.

Reddy has been facing pressure over the incident in which a six-decade-old seven-tiered wooden chariot was gutted around Saturday midnight.

Meanwhile, opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Janasena are targeting the state government for allegedly being lax in protecting Hindu temples.

The opposition parties have siezed the opportunity to corner the government.

On Wednesday, state BJP president Somu Veerraju visited the temple to take stock of the developments. He followed it up with a sit-in protest in Rajamundry party office and called on BJP supporters to do the same at their homes amid the Covid pandemic.

A few BJP national leaders have also chipped in with similar demonstrations in Delhi.

Scenic Antarvedi is located in the lush green Konaseema region of East Godavari district, 57 kms southeast of Bhimavaram. The temple is located near the confluence point of the mighty Godavari river and the Bay of Bengal on the east coast of India.

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