AMARAVATI: Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Executive Secretary Buchi Ram Prasad on Thursday urged the Customs Preventive Commissionerate to conduct a detailed inquiry into the illegal smuggling of tonsured human hair from the Tirumala temple to China via the North East and Myanmar.

Ram Prasad submitted a memorandum to Customs Commissioner K. Venkatarami Reddy stressing the need for deterrent action against the smuggling gangs involved in the illegal transportation of hair. He pointed out that the Assam Rifles have confirmed that the 125 bags of hair seized by them belong to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).

The TDP leader told the Commissioner that the hair seizure was made at the Myanmar border when it was about to be smuggled into the neighboring country. "If these reports were false, the TTD officials should explain why they were not filing a defamation suit against the Assam Rifles for giving these details to the media. The TTD should have taken action against the national media that published those stories without cross-checking the facts," he said.

Ram Prasad said the illegal smuggling of hair offered at the Seven Hills Temple has hurt the sentiments and shocked the devotees. "The TTD officials were only trying to divert the attention of the public instead of probing and bringing out the real facts behind the smuggling rackets' activities. It was high time that the Customs officials should crack the mystery behind the flourishing of illegal gangs in the hair smuggling," he said.

The TDP leader also sought a close vigil by the customs officials on the large scale corruption and unlawful activities at the Tirumala temple.

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