Chittoor: The Kanipakam Varasiddhi Vinayaka Temple in Chittoor district was embroiled in a controversy after allegations that the district administration had turned the temple premises into a quarantine centre and a group of quarantined Muslims stepped into the temple wearing footwear, disrespecting the Hindu traditions. Audio and video clips of the temple have gone viral on social media, forcing officials to step in and dispel the rumours.

The Chittoor police took serious note of the fake videos and clarified that the venue in the video was not the main Vinayaka temple but a choultry where people suspected of Corona virus have been quarantined.

A video showing a few men and women from the Muslim community walking out of a complex close to the temple wearing footwear was circulated on WhatsApp and other social media platforms on Sunday night. Miscreants started spreading rumours that the renowned Varasiddhi Vinayaka Swamy temple located in Kanipakam was converted into a quarantine centre and Muslims were walking around the temple complex wearing footwear.

After the video went viral on social media, Chittoor superintendent of police S. Senthil Kumar clarified that 44 people, the family members and relatives of three Corona-positive patients, were kept under quarantine at the Ganesh Sadan Pilgrim Amenities Complex in Kanipakam from 1 to 4 April.

Mr Kumar said all of them tested negative for COVID-19 and they were moving out of the choultry to the premises of Mother Teresa Engineering College where they would be quarantined for some more time as a precautionary measure. ”Ganesh Sadan was converted into a COVID-19 quarantine facility for the suspected patients. The district administration has taken measures to respect the sentiments of the devotees while converting the amenities complex into a quarantine zone. This premise is located half a kilometre away from the main Vinayaka temple, but miscreants are spreading fake messages on social media,” he said.

He warned that cases would be booked against those spreading fake messages under various sections of the IPC, the Disaster Management Act 2005, and the Information Technology Act. Further, the temple executive officer also condemned the reports on social media.

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