Fake Tirumala Laddu siezed

October 03, 2010 15:43
Fake Tirumala Laddu siezed

The pieces looked no different in size or shape from the famous ‘Tirumala laddus', but instead of the aroma of ‘Tirumala laddus',Radhamma and Manikyamma of STV Nagar, preparing fake laddus,Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT),Srinivasa Rao, TTD's Assistant Vigilance and Security Officer, sweet ghee, the product reeked of a foul odour.

For Radhamma and Manikyamma of STV Nagar, preparing fake laddus has been a regular practice for the last 15 years, while Gouri, Nagaraju and three others form the marketing arm. They prepare around 500 laddus at one go, fill them in aluminium/plastic buckets and transport them to APSRTC bus station and railway station areas for selling them to the gullible pilgrims at the rate of Rs.10 each.

The latter, normally in a hurry to board a train or bus, buy a couple of them mistaking them to be ‘Prasadam'.

However, this Friday proved to be inauspicious for the foursome as the TTD's vigilance sleuths nabbed them at the tourist bus station in Alipiri. Anticipating heavy rush for the ‘Purattasi Saturdays', a vow observed by Tamil devotees on Saturdays of this Tamil month of Purattasi by wearing yellow robes and applying Namam, Nagaraju and Gouri converged at the bus stand as early as 3 a.m. with the intention of selling off the laddus before dawn, obviously to escape the eyes of the vigilance guards or the local cops.

“We lay in wait in the guise of devotees for the last two days and pounced on them today,” Srinivasa Rao, TTD's Assistant Vigilance and Security Officer, who supervised the job, told The Hindu. R. Geethanjali, health officer of Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT), rushed to the spot and inspected the seized laddus.

The accused were handed over to Alipiri police, where the Sub-Inspector Subba Reddy booked a case.

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