Nellore: The Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanam Board on Wednesday hit back at Tirumala temple chief priest Dr A.V. Ramana Deekshithulu by ordering his retirement through a new rule restricting the employment of the archakas at the shrine to those less than 65 years of age.

Dr Deekshithulu is said to be in his late 60s. On Tuesday he had called for the takeover of the TTD by an expert panel to be constituted by the Centre.

The chief priest had alleged that ancient jewels donated by kings and other devotees several decades ago had disappeared and the state-appointed administrators were violating the Agama Sastra by interfering with the worship rituals.
He had also sought a CBI probe into the jewels disappearance and other administrative issues. Three other hereditary priests will also lose their jobs at the shrine due to the resolution passed at the first meeting of the newly constituted TTD Trust Board.

The TTD promised employment to the sons of the priests “as per the rules and regulations”. TTD chairman Putta Sudhakar Yadav briefed the media about the Board’s resolutions, When reporters sought the TTD response to the serious charges made by Dr Deekshitulu at his press conference at Chennai on Tuesday, executive officer Anil Kumar Singhal said the board had decided to serve him with a show cause notice seeking his explanation.

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