ibnlive » India

Aug 28, 2010 at 12:02pm IST

After ticket scam, suicide rocks Tirupati

Tirupati: A Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) official committed suicide on Friday after reports of alleged harassment by a senior TTD official.

The employees' union said V.M. Suresh was being forced by Dharma Reddy to become a witness in the multi-crore ticketing scam, a charge dismissed by him.

The victim was working as a senior assistant in TTD and had previously worked as a camp clerk in Reddy's office.

This is another blow to the TTD, which runs the hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara in Tirupati, after it was rocked by the ticket sale racket.

Tirupati ticketing scam related to the sale of 'arijita seva' tickets or the paid rituals where the vigilance department unearthed Rs 50 crore swindle within the body that runs the temple.

For the past six years, some people have been booking tickets for paid rituals in advance and selling them to the highest bidder at a far higher price.

Fifty-five people have been indicted by the vigilance department in its report submitted to the state government, which included several TTD officials.

There have also been reports that jewellery offered at the shrine was being stolen and replaced by fakes.

Following the incident, TTD exployees' unions staged a sit-in at the administrative office and asked executive officer IYR Krishna Rao to take action against Reddy.

The union leaders also alleged Suresh had taken the extreme step because of the official's "offensive" behaviour towards him.

The police have sent the body for post mortem and are investigating the case from all angles.

The TTD board was dissolved on August 24 after its term expired. A three-member specified committee was formed, that included Rao.

With PTI inputs

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