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Andhra Pradesh: BJP alleges evangelists built a Christian cross-shaped structure at Hindu holy site, police ‘clarifies’, leaves crucial question unanswered

BJP leaders have alleged that the huge Christian Cross symbol was put up illegally in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh where Hindus believed Sita Maa's footprints existed

A huge Christian Cross-shaped structure has been allegedly constructed by evangelists in Edlapadu, Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, where footprints of Maa Sita once stood, the BJP has alleged. As per a tweet by BJP Andhra Pradesh co-incharge Sunil Deodhar, the huge structure was illegally constructed.

Sharing the picture of the alleged encroachment, BJP Andhra Pradesh national secretary Sunil Deodhar also wrote on Twitter: “See huge illegal Cross in Edlapadu, AP where once foot prints of #SitaMaa existed. Carving of Lord Narasimhama exists at back. In Guntur Dist Christian mafias have created havoc. @BJP4Andhra & @friendsofrss protested but administration tacitly supported. #Encroachment4ChristInAP”.

A report in Organiser says that Hindus consider this site holy and for centuries marriage rituals would take place here. However, slowly Christians came and started claiming that the hill belongs to Mary. The report also alleged that after Jaganmohan Reddy govt came to power, they even built a church there. While the BJP and RSS workers opposed, one of the top bureaucrats, also a Christian, allegedly extended support to the church. Eventually, Sita Maa’s footprints were destroyed and a huge cross was erected.

This area is said to have borne the footprint of goddess Sita and a carving of Lord Narasimha, which was destroyed.

BJP leaders have taken to Twitter to slam Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, under whose regime, it is alleged that Christian evangelism is carried out unabated in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh BJP leader Vishnu Vardhan Reddy accused ‘conversion mafias’ of illegally capturing a Hindu holy site at Edlapadu by erecting the Christian cross-shaped structure. One of the pictures shared by Vishnu Vardhan Reddy on his Twitter handle shows a cross being erected at the sacred spot while another image displays what looks like a carving of Lord Narasimha. 

The evangelists have reportedly also build malls and have commercialised the entire area which is exactly adjacent to a National Highway.

Police clarifies, but leaves one question unanswered

The Guntur Rural Police took to Twitter to post a video of the sight to dispel the claims that a Christian cross-like structure has been build at a site holy for Hindus.

The police claimed that the Holy site for Hindus is on one peak, however, the cross has been constructed a peak opposite to the holy site.

However, what the Guntur police has not clarified so far is whether the Evangalists had the authority to construct a cross at the site. Several Twitter users too raised the question in response that presumably, that site belongs to the government. They questioned whether the evangelists had the permission to construct a Christian cross-like structure on that site and whether the government had granted permission. If the government had not granted permission, then the cross would still be illegally constructed.

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