Visakhapatnam/ Vizianagaram: The Chalo Ramateertham rally jointly organised by the BJP and the Jana Sena saw some tense moments following the arrest of state BJP president Somu Veerraju and several others after they tried to break the cordon and reach the Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy temple.

The Visakhapatnam police closed the BJP office on Beach Road to prevent the gathering of leaders while many were put under house arrest. They also did not allow many BJP leaders and activists to leave their homes and thwarted their efforts to join the rally.

Earlier, the BJP state president had heated arguments with the police after the latter prevented them from reaching the Sri Kodanda Rama Swamy temple located atop Bodikonda at Ramateertham in Vizianagaram district where miscreants had beheaded Lord Rama's idol a few days ago.

Condemning the destruction of Lord Rama's idol in Sri Kodanda Ramaswamy temple, the BJP and the JSP had planned the Chalo Ramateertham rally from Vizag city to Ramateertham under Nellimarla mandal in Vizianagaram on Tuesday.

The BJP chief, Veerraju, strongly condemned police curbs along Vizag-Vizianagaram-Ramateertham route. Veerraju, BJP MLC P.V.N Madhav, and a few others reached Ramateertham junction in spite of a huge police deployment on Tuesday morning but were denied permission to climb the hill. After heated arguments and a tussle with police personnel, the BJP leaders were arrested.

The state BJP chief came down heavily on the Andhra Pradesh government and the police and pointed out that while TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu, YSRCP leader V. Vijaya Sai Reddy, and a few other YSRCP ministers were allowed to visit the temple, the state government had prevented them from visiting the temple.

The AP government has double standards, he alleged and sought immediate resignation of minister for endowment Vellampalli Srinivasa Rao for his failure to protect the temples in the state. The BJP leader also said that the sentiments of the Hindus were hurt as the head of the Lord Rama idol at the historic Ramateertham temple was broken and no concrete steps were taken to apprehend the culprits.

The Vizianagaram police said that in view of the prevailing situation at Ramateertham, Section 30 of the Police Act has been imposed to curb public meetings and protests in and around Ramateertham.

Another BJP leader, P. Vishnu Kumar Raju, who was placed under house arrest in Vizag city, said that the state government cannot obstruct the Chalo Ramateertham rally. He said his party will organise the rally some other day.

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