Antarvedi, Sep 8 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district police are yet to make an arrest days after a six-decade old chariot of the famous Sri Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Antarvedi in East Godavari district was gutted in a fire on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.
“Nobody has been arrested yet in the chariot case. We are still investigating,” a district police official told IANS.
The cause of the chariot going up in flames is not known as yet even as the locals suspect some foul play.
“We are investigating the case from multiple angles such as some unidentified person throwing a burning cigarette butt into the chariot room and also the possibility of some miscreants aiming to procure honey from the honeycomb right on top of the chariot,” he said.
The chariot was stored in a tall room, closed on three sides and open on one. When not used, it was covered with palmyra leaves on the open side.
Police are probing if someone tried to take the honey by smoking out the bees from the honeycomb during which a spark could have fallen on the palmyra leaves setting them ablaze and gutting the chariot.
Making things more difficult for the police, the surveillance cameras were not functioning when the fire broke out around midnight.
Antarvedi temple is famous for its ‘Theerdham’ (temple fair), drawing thousands of people from both West and East Godavari districts and beyond.
Known as the second Varanasi, Antarvedi temple is vividly mentioned in the Hindu scriptures and is associated with sage Vasishta and others.
The Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam runs an accommodation facility in the village.
Adorned with lakhs of coconut trees, Antarvedi is located in the lush green Konaseema region of East Godavari district, 200 km east of Vijaywada, 130 km from Kakinada and 57 km southwest of Bhimavaram.