Several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders including state president Somu Veerraju were arrested on Tuesday when they tried to climb the Ramateertham hill even as police denied them permission.
Mr. Veerraju strongly condemned police curbs all along Visakhapatnam-Vizianagaram-Ramateetham route, where the BJP and Jana Sena planned Ramateertha yatra to deplore the inordinate delay in identifying culprits involved in vandalism of Lord Rama’s idol of Sri Kodandarama Swamy temple, located 12 km away from Fort City.
In spite of deployment of heavy security and restrictions, along with MLC PVN Madhav, Mr.Veerraju reached Ramateertham village but could not permission to climb the hill.
After a tussle with the cops, they were arrested along with many BJP leaders including Nadukuditi Eswara Rao, Baggam Rajesh and others.
Speaking to media before the arrest, Mr.Veerraju questioned that the government over his detention in spite of having prior permission.
“The government allowed TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu and YSRCP MP K.Vijayasai Reddy. But it has prevented our tour. The government is adopting double standards,” he added. Mr.Veerraju sought the immediate resignation of Minister for Endowments Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao who ‘failed’ protect temples in Andhra Pradesh.
“All the Hindu religion followers were shocked with the incident at historic Ramateertham temple. That is why, the party is very keen for the immediate arrest of the culprits. It is the failure of the government to nab them although the incident took place eight days ago,” said Mr.Veerraju.
Speaking to The Hindu, former BJP State President Kambhampati Haribabu said that the party was forced to take up yatra as it could not trace the culprits.
Several BJP senior leaders Nadukuditi Eswara Rao, Kusumanchi Subbarao, Teegala Harinath and others were not allowed to move from their homes.
Jana Sena leader Tyada Ramakrishna was also kept under house arrest.
Several religious leaders have been forced to stay at Panchamukha Anjaneya Swamy temple of Vizianagarm. Police forces have been deployed at many prominent places including RTC Complex, Fort Junction and other places to identify BJP-Jana Sena activists who were heading towards Ramateertham.