Tirupati: Though the temple administration had said that it had made elaborate arrangements to tackle the heavy influx of devotees to the abode of Lord Venkateswara on Vaikunta Ekadasi eve, angry protests by devotees and stampedes throughout the day marred the festive mood at Tirumala on the last day of 2014.
The temple administration had held many reviews to ensure better coordination among the several agencies involved for the smooth conduct of Vaikunta Ekadasi, but lack of coordination threw the arrangements out of gear at Tirumala on Wednesday.
Since a major chunk of the TTD staff was busy looking after the visiting VIPs the common devotees had a tough time on the other side of the hill as they were clueless and stranded with no idea which queue to join for darshan.
Several devotees including, women and children were wounded in the stampedes as Tirupati Urban police wing cops and TTD’s vigilance and security wing officials stood as mute spectators.
Tirupati SP Gopinath Jatti himself was witness to one such stampede near the TBC area. He, along with other cops on duty, rushed to the rescue of the devotees being trampled by others.
Although TTD officials tried to attribute the situation to the heavy influx of devotees, in reality, the turnout was actually lesser than expected. Barricades and extreme curbs added to the woes of the common devotees and VIPs as the “take diversion signs” confused everyone.
Location: Andhra Pradesh