Hindu devotees at a Dussehra festival in Vijayawada were shocked to see a video of Christian preaching on a large screen installed at the Kanaka Durga Temple. The giant LED screen was installed at the venue to screen the rituals and celebrations of the Dussehra festival, but it displayed a Christian pastor preaching Christianity instead on the first day of Navratri.
Thousands of Hindu devotees, who had gathered for the Dusshera celebrations, were enraged after seeing the Christian sermons on the screen. They later pelted stones at the screen and damaged it.
Deliberate campaigning of christianity on LED screen at Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada during Navaratri festival. pic.twitter.com/D1krousukV— venkata ramanayya (@ram_ov) October 8, 2021
BJP Spokesperson SG Suryah tweeted that the angry devotees damaged the video screen and demanded strict action against the perpetrators. “Christian Evangelism telecasted on LED screen installed at Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada to live telecast the #Navaratri rituals of the temple. Enraged by this, the Hindus pelted stones & smashed the screen,” he Tweeted.
Christian Evangelism telecasted on LED screen installed at Kanaka Durga Temple, Vijayawada to live telecast the #Navaratri rituals of the temple. Enraged by this, the Hindus pelted stones & smashed the screen. Handiwork of a local cable operator who got the contract it seems. pic.twitter.com/3ke8vWEKRc— SG Suryah (@SuryahSG) October 8, 2021
“Handiwork of a local cable operator who got the contract it seems,” Suryah said further, suspecting the involvement of locals.
Reportedly, the Kanaka Durga Temple authorities had given a contract of displaying Dussehra celebrations on video walls set up at a few places in the temple premises to a local cable operator like every year.
As per an ANI report, the Andhra Pradesh police has registered a case in this matter. District collector J Nivas said, “That was an unfortunate incident that happened. There was negligence on the part of not stopping the item that was played.”
“We are enquiring into it. The case is registered under section 295 (1A) of IPC, it may be changed during the investigation. We cannot tell whether it is a conspiracy until the investigation is held,” he added further.
Temple authorities claim incident was ‘accidental’
Meanwhile, the temple authorities have called the incident purely ‘accidental.’ Temple Executive Officer D Bramaramba said, “We came to know from devotees and police that a video, purportedly of an evangelist of Philadelphia AG Church, was played in one of the LED screens.”
“During interrogation, it came to light that it was purely accidental as the operator concerned failed to switch off after the live telecast had ended, and played the channel’s daily program accidentally,” the EO informed.
However, Sri Durga Malleswara Swamy Varla Devasthanam (SDMSD) has ordered a probe into the incident even after the police registered a case and detained two persons for interrogation.
Vijayawada Commissioner of Police Bathini Sreenivasulu also informed that the screening might have been accidental, but warned of strict action if it was proved otherwise.
BJP leader Vishnuvardhan Reddy has termed the incident as sheer negligence on the part of officials of the Endowments Department. He has also demanded action against the errant officials.
Elaborate arrangements have been made for the Navratri festival at the revered Kanaka Durga temple atop Indrakeeladri in Andhra Pradesh where the goddess gives darshan to the devotees in a different avatar on all nine days of the festival.