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Security beefed up along Tirumala temple route

Security beefed up along Tirumala temple route

Following the killing of a six-year-old girl by a leopard on the Alipiri Footpath route on Friday night, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) has beefed up security along with forest and police departments at all the vulnerable points along the footpath route to Tirumala temple.

The forest department along with trained personnel has already kept two cages ready on a 24X7 basis, said TTD Executive Officer (EO) AV Dharma Reddy.

The Chief Conservator of Forest, Nageswara Rao, said cages and tranquilisers are already kept ready by the forest personnel and they will catch hold of the predator soon.

The TTD EO said nearly 500 CCTV cameras are planned from the point of Gali Gopuram to Lakshmi Narasimha Swami temple on the route.

The temple body has appealed to the parents who are trekking with children on footpaths to take additional precautions.

A six-year-old girl is suspected to have been killed by a leopard while she was walking to Tirumala along the Alipiri footpath on Friday night. Lakshitha had been walking far ahead of her parents Dinesh and Sasikala.

Her parents searched for her in vain and alerted the TTD officials. TTD’s vigilance and security personnel along with local police and forest department launched a search operation and they found the girl’s body behind Narasimha Swamy temple on Saturday morning. Forest staff who examined injuries on Lakshitha’s body said she might have succumbed to injuries inflicted by a leopard.

The TTD announced henceforth a group of 100 people will be allowed along with a security guard at the vulnerable point. “Already there are 30 TTD security and 10 forest guards deployed at this point and we will enhance the personnel now,” the EO said.

The TTD will initiate more measures after receiving a report from the forest officials.

On June 21, a three-year-old boy had miraculously escaped an attack by a leopard. Following that incident, the temple body had appealed to parents to take precautions while trekking with children.

Meanwhile, TTD Trust Board Chairman Bhumana Karunakara Reddy said that there is no compromise in safeguarding the devotees coming to Tirumala.

The Chairman reviewed the situation that led to leopard attack on the six-year old Lakshita and also visited the spot where her body was found. The forest and TTD vigilance officials explained how the wild cat attacked and dragged the girl’s body in the forest.

He said TTD would not hesitate to undertake any expenses if the forest, police and TTD officials come up with additional safety proposals including technical steps and is committed to assure devotees that there is no recurrence of similar incidents in future.

He said in view of wildlife protection initiatives, the number of wild animals was also on the increase and the focus of TTD was to safeguard the lives of pilgrims on footpaths.

He also assured the family of Lakshita that TTD would extend all support and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh of which Rs 5 lakh by TTD and another Rs 5 lakh by forest department to the bereaved family.

He also appealed to parents to take all cautions to keep children in their sight while trekking on footpaths.


Tags: Tirumala TTD Leopard