Hyderabad: Former head priest of Tirumala temple, Ramana Deekshitulu, on Wednesday brushed aside the Rs.100 defamation case that was filed by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Board.
The retired head priest termed the defamation case as absurd and described it as a move by TTD to silence voices of those who are vocal about corruption in TTD.
“I have received a Rs. 100 crore defamation notice from TTD. I want to ask the TTD whether it is illegal to raise genuine issues and problems associated with the Tirumala temple? They are simply trying to shut my mouth by foisting such ridiculous cases,” he said at a press conference here.
The head priest pointed out that instead of setting up a special committee comprising senior officials who can conduct an unbiased enquiry into the issues that were recently raised by him, the TTD went the other way and decided to target persons who have raised genuine problems.
A few months ago, the head priest along with few others had alleged that that the TTD authorities were corrupt and that several ornaments belonging to the temple, particularly old jewellery and diamonds donated by king Krishnadevaraya of the Vijayanagara empire were missing.
“I raised the issue about lack of transparency in the functioning of TTD. Moreover, even the rituals that are supposed to be followed while performing puja are not being held properly. It is the responsibility of TTD officials to provide clarification on such issues,” he said