Close on heels of a chariot being gutted at Antarvedi Temple in East Godavari, another chariot at a temple in Andhra Pradesh has been found vandalised. Three of four silver lions carved on the structure of the chariot at Kanaka Durga Temple in Vijayawada are missing. According to information, each lion statue was made up of 3 kg of silver. The chariot was used in the Ugadi festival, but due to the Covid-19 lockdown it was not taken out this year. The missing lions were noticed when the temple authorities decided to check on the chariot following the fire incident at Antarvedi Temple.
The endowment minister Villampalli Srinivas inspected the temple and confirmed it. An inquiry has been ordered to find out how the lion statues have gone missing. Telugu Desam party president and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said ever since the YSRCP rode to power, at least 11 temples were vandalised. Naidu said, “Today, the hindu temples have come under attack. Tomorrow, churches and mosques could be attacked. who is responsible for such vandalism and arson in the state? isn’t the state government responsible. Holy Jerusalem visit for christians in the state and advertisements of the annual Haj pilgrimage printed on the back of Tirumala bus tickets. All these issues are hurting hindu sentiments.”
TDP Mlc Buddha Venkanna expressed concern that the missing of silver lions has hurt the sentiments of hindu devotees all over the world. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Somu Veerraju along with party delegation visited the Kanaka Durga Temple amid reports of three missing silver lion statues from the silver chariot of goddess Kanaka Durga. Veerraju has enquired the Temple Executive Officer about the missing idols and expressed anguish over the alleged ‘negligence’ by the temple authorities in the matter.