A pastor conducts prayer near a temple at K.Gangavaram in East Godavari district on Friday. (Photo by arrangement)
KAKINADA: A viral report on social media about a Suvartha Kutami, an evangelical congregation near Lord Srirama Temple at K. Gangavaram village under Pamarru police station limits of East Godavari district, has turned into a controversy. The report and news thereafter have drawn national attention as well.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Sunil Deodhar, a top RSS ideologue, has strongly reacted on the issue, blaming Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy over the religious conversions controversy.
However, East Godavari police have clarified that information circulating on social media about the evangelical meet near Ramalayam is "fake news".
The first to go viral on social media was a post regarding preaching about Lord Jesus Christ going on near Ramalayam. This was followed by Sunil Deodhar’s posting on twitter that this amounts to Jagan pushing his conversion agenda. Responding to Deodhar’s post, some netizens commented "Y.S. Reddy, shame on You’’, "It is under Jagan’s protection’’, "All Faults of YS Jagan, shame, shame".
Meanwhile, East Godavari superintendent of police M. Ravindranath Babu condemned the social media campaign as fake news. He clarified that a woman Kada Mangayamma has been conducting prayers of Jesus Christ on the road situated in front of her house, which is located beside Ramalayam. Her prayers and poojas in Ramalayam have been going on daily. There have been no disputes between local Hindus and Christians.
The SP underlined while the prayers had been going on on March 30, elder son of Mangayamma, namely Srinivas, resident of Kakinada, went there. He entered into an argument with his mother over her huge expenditure on holding prayers. This led to Mangayamma dialling 100. Pamarru police immediately went there and pacified both Srinivas and Mangayamma.
However, Kada Venkataramana, a cousin of Srinivas residing in K.Gangavaram village, complained to police against Srinivas saying the latter had intentionally posted false information on social media to provoke religious hatred among people alleging that preaching of Jesus Christ has been going on near Ramalayam and a case was being registered against Kada Srinivas.
Ravindranath Babu said that this news is totally false and no cases have been filed on this matter. He requested people not to believe such false news.
Ramachandrapuram circle inspector V. Srinivas warned that if any person or persons place postings on social media or other platforms to disturb religious harmony, stringent action will be taken against them as per law. He maintained that a case will be registered against Kada Venkataramana on charges of circulating false news.
However, BJP official spokesperson Y. Malakondaiah asked police whether they can give permission to offer prayers or do bhajans on the road in front of a church. Malakondaiah went on to accuse police of sidelining the issue.