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How One Man Accessed Letters From 46 VIPs to Run a Tirumala Racket

Using the modus operandi of ‘relatives want VIP darshan’ Veerachari and his gang misused recommendation letters.

Updated
India
2 min read
The Venkateswara Temple in Tirumala
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Under the pretext that his relatives wanted to have a VIP darshan, a tout identified as 39-year-old Sriram Veerachari cheated at least 46 VIPs who include ministers, MLAs, MPs, political leaders and bureaucrats from both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

The accused procured recommendation letters from the VIPs, which was a prerequisite to avail VIP darshan tickets at Tirumala until the rules were changed some time back, and sold the tickets to devotees at exorbitant rates, found the vigilance wing of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) on Friday, 1 November.

An investigation carried out by the TTD vigilance officials on detaining Veerachari revealed that Veerachari and his accomplices – Thota Venkateswara Rao, a local journalist; Veera Venkata Krishna; and Subbarayuni Umashankar – had access to several VVIPs.

Using the modus operandi of 'relatives want VIP darshan' Veerachari and his gang misused the recommendation letters of the VIPs and sold the VIP darshan tickets in the black market, reported Deccan Chronicle.

Veerachari was caught by the authorities last Tuesday when he was selling the tickets using the recommendation letter of Mandapeta MLA Jogeswara Rao.

The Times of India, reported that besides the recommendation letter of MLA Jogeswara Rao, the gang had recommendation letters of Andhra Pradesh Home Minister M Sucharita, Social Welfare Minister P Viswaroop, Kakinada MP Geetha, Denduloor MLA K Abbaiah Chowdary, Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister Botcha Satyanarayana, Agriculture Minister K Kannababu, Peddapuram MLA N Chinnarajappa, Gannavaram MLA K Chittibabu, MLC Budha Venkateswara Rao, JC Diwakar Reddy, Kodur MLA K Srinivasulu and Rajanagaram MLA Pendurthi Venkatesh.

From Telangana, the gang had recommendation letters of IT minister KT Rama Rao, Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, union minister Kishan Reddy, Station Ghanpur MLA T Rajaiah, Amberpet MLA Kaleru Venkatesh, Warangal MLA Vinaya Bhaskar, Warangal MP Dayakar, Chennur MLA Balka Suman among several others.

Among these VIPs, Station Ghanpur MLA T Rajaiah's recommendation letter was reportedly misused 36 times.

The gang also had recommendations from several IAS and IPS officers.

(Republished in an arrangement with The News Minute)

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