Guntur (Andhra Pradesh) [India], March 3 (ANI): Andhra Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vishnu Vardhan Reddy has accused "conversion mafias" of illegally capturing a holy site at Edlapadu -- that is said to have borne the footprint of goddess Sita and a carving of Lord Narasimha -- to erect a Christian Cross at the site.
The BJP leader claimed that the conversion mafia is creating havoc ever since Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy came to power in the state.
"In Edlapadu(Andhra Pradesh) a place where Sita Mata's footprint existed and carving of Lord Narasimhama was there is illegally captured by conversion mafias and an illegal cross built at that place. No place for Hindus in Andhra Pradesh under government, attacks on Hindu temples continues (sic)," Vishnu Vardhan Reddy had tweeted.
BJP Andhra Pradesh co in-charge Sunil Deodhar, in a video message, claimed that the hillock has encroached.
"There was an ancient hill, and on that hill, there were the footprints of Goddess Sita. Hindus believe that they are the lotus feet of Goddess Sita, and they used to conduct weddings at that place. Slowly Christian people started going there and started saying that this land belongs to Mother Mary. And then they put one idol of Mother Mary," said Deodhar.
"In last few months, slowly and steadily as there was a District Magistrate (DM) who was a Christian person who supported the conversion mafia and land mafia, they destroyed the lotus feet of Sita and they started constructing the cross. Last week they have installed a huge cross on that land."
He further said that the BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) workers went to the local administration to protest and stop the construction of the cross.
"They could stop it only for some time. The administration accepted that it is illegal. But they don't have the guts to destroy it. However, BJP is not going to leave. We will go ahead with the agitation unless and until the cross is removed from that place. And lotus feet of Goddess Sita and a temple of Goddess Sita should be constructed over there. BJP and our alliance partner JSP and all Hindu organisations will go ahead with the agitation," he said.
BJP Andhra Pradesh in-charge and Union Minister V Muraleedharan has made a series of tweets over the incident.
"A grave mistake and an insult to the Hindu devotees. This place is revered for the presence of the sacred footprints of #SitaMaa and Lord Narasimha. This is a brazen attack on the religious beliefs of all Hindus. Government has to answer how such encroachments and incidents of desecration of idols and temples continue to happen in Andhra Pradesh. The opposition by locals and the protests by @BJP4Andhra & @friendsofrss have been deliberately ignored."
However, a Yedlapadu Police official said that the Narasimha temple and the cross recently constructed are two different hills and there is a distance of 500 meters between them.
"During that time, the footprints of Goddess Sita were destroyed due to mining activity. Even the Narasimha temple was also on the verge of collapse, so the mining process was stopped in that area. There is no connection between the cross and the temple," Yedlapadu Sub Inspector Srihari told ANI over the phone. (ANI)