Vijayawada, Sep 6 (UNI) A chariot of famous Srilakshminarasimha Swamy temple, located at Antarvedi village in Sakinetipalli mandal East Godavari district, was destroyed in fire the wee hours on Sunday.
The 40-feet and 60-years-old sacred chariot was parked in a shed in front of the temple. It was found burning in flames in the wee hours. The chariot completely destroyed in the fire. The CCTVs, installed at the temple premises, have not been working for the last six months, the villagers told media.
The police started investigation to find out whether the sacred chariot of the temple was set on fire by miscreants or flames erupted accidentally. The chariot was used to take the processional deities of temple a ride during festivals and other auspicious occasions. The burning of temple chariot sent shock waves across the State as the Srilakhinarasimha Swamy temple is famous as lakhs of people throng during festivals.
Responding on the incident, Minister for Endowments Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao ordered for a comprehensive inquiry on the incident and appointed Endowment department Additional Commissioner Ramachandra Mohan as inquiry officer. The minister said that the police registered a case and investigating whether the chariot caught fire accidently or was set on fire by miscreants.
The minister said that the temple chariot was 60-years-old and directed officials to take steps to build another similar chariot for the temple.
This is the second such incident in the State as a temple chariot was set on fire by miscreants in Nellore district six months ago. Meanwhile, BJP State president Somu Veerraju and Vice-president Vishnuvardhan Reddy expressed shock and grief over the destroying of sacred chariot in fire.
Vehemently condemning the incident, the BJP state president said that a BJP team would visit the temple and find out the facts and demanded the government to order for an inquiry.