Guntur : , March 3 (IANS) A controversy is brewing in Andhra Pradesh with the BJP objecting to the alleged illegal erection of a cross on a hillock considered holy by the Hindus in Guntur district.
BJP national secretary and the party's Andhra Pradesh co-incharge Sunil Deodhar claimed that the hillock was encroached.
"See the huge illegal cross at Edlapadu where once the footprints of Sita Maa existed. Carving of Lord Narasimha exists at the back. In Guntur district, Christian mafias have created havoc. Andhra Pradesh BJP and friends of RSS protested against this but the administration tacitly supported the move," claimed Deodhar.
He also released a video alleging that the state government is supporting corruption, mafia, goondaism and encroachment of land by churches.
The BJP leader claimed that the conversion mafia is creating havoc ever since Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy came to power.
He claimed that the hillock had Sita's footprints where weddings used to be conducted.
"Slowly, Christian people started going there. Saying that this hill belongs to Mother Mary, they put one of her idols. In the last few months, slowly and steadily they destroyed all the footprints and started constructing a cross," he alleged.
Meanwhile, the police in Guntur district have clarified that neither such thing occurred, nor any Hindu religious structure was desecrated on Tuesday.
Guntur Rural superintendent of police (SP) Vishal Gunni stated that no Hindu religious structures were desecrated and clarified that Sita's footmarks did not exist on the hillock where the cross was raised.
"Sita's footmarks are not there. There is a small idol of Narasimha Swamy which is on the other side of the hillock," Gunni told IANS.
He clarified that the hillock where Narasimha Swamy's idol exists and the hillock where the cross has been raised are different and about 500 metres to 1 km apart.
"There are hillocks in between, and they are not interrelated at all," Gunni said.
Meanwhile, Guntur district collector Vivek Yadav stalled the construction of the cross on the hillock as the allotment process is underway and not yet completed.
Gunni said the people connected to the cross construction have applied for permission but the procedure is not complete yet.
"It seems that they have already applied for that. They will process it as per law. Presently, the collector gave orders for stopping the work of the cross till the allotment happens," said the SP.
He said it is mandatory to take permission before constructing any structure like that and said that he spoke to both the sub-collector and the district collector to confirm the details.
Several BJP leaders have already tweeted on the Edlapadu hillock case, including Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya.