The officials of the Andhra Pradesh endowments department found that several officials of the Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam had been committing financial irregularities in the running of the Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada.
The information came to light as a result of a series of raids conducted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).
After the raids and a series of inquiries conducted at the temple, the ACB submitted a preliminary report to the state government on the matter. In the report, it claimed that it had found that the Devasthanam officials had been committing irregularities in the leasing out of the temple's properties, during the sale of darshan tickets to devotees, and in the procurement of sarees for the presiding deity.
Following this, endowments department chief P Arjun Rao yesterday suspended sixteen officials for their involvement in the matter. Reports suggest that the temple EO M V Suresh Babu was also involved.
It is likely that action will be taken against more officials in the days to come. Further, the EO will reportedly be removed from his position, and transferred elsewhere.
The temples of Andhra Pradesh have been in the news for all the wrong reasons, recently. The desecration of an idol of Lord Kodanda Rama
at the Ramateertham temple in Vizianagaram district's Nellimarla, that took place last month, had caused quite the uproar in the state. It also became a major source of friction among the various political parties in AP, who took to blaming each other
for the incident.