The Andhra Pradesh government paid an immense tribute to beloved former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam through a series of announcements and upcoming projects in the state.
After the sudden demise of ‘The Missile Man’ last month, both the houses of the AP legislature observed a two-minute silence in his memory at the start of the assembly session on Monday. Further Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced naming the upcoming IIT in Ongole after the former President.
The move aims to inspire young minds by citing Dr. Kalam’s services to the nation. For promoting exceptional talent in the state, Naidu also announced naming ‘Pratibha Pruskar’ after Kalam. To souvenir Kalam’s memories, he also declared installing his statue in Nagarjuna University.
Naidu said, “When Dr. Kalam passed away, the state government rather than declaring a holiday asked all employees to work for an extra hour to honour Kalam’s wish.” Recently authorities in Delhi renamed Aurangzeb Road to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Marg to pay tribute to the late visionary scientist.
The Odisha Police today said “some people” had breached the security cordon during President Ram Nath Kovind’s visit to the Puri Jagannath Temple with his wife on March 18.
The statement by Puri Superintendent of Police Sarthak Sarangi comes a day after the state government denied receipt of any letter from the Rashtrapati Bhavan regarding the alleged misconduct of servitors in the 12th century shrine.
A section of the media had reported that the Rashtrapati Bhavan wrote to the temple administration, alleging inappropriate behaviour by servitors outside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple
Sarangi said the district collector of Puri, ahead of the President’s visit, was asked to ensure that no servitor goes close to the First couple or requests them to sign on any book during their visit to the temple.
“Though the temple administration had informed the servitors about the instruction, some people tried to go close to the President by breaching the security cordon. We had submitted a report to the temple administration in this connection,” Sarangi said.
However, the minutes of the temple management committee’s March 20 meeting, which had been in circulation on social media, mentioned that the Rashtrapati Bhavan expressed displeasure over the conduct of servitors.
It also said some servitors allegedly milled around Savita Kovind, while she was offering prayers inside the temple’s sanctum sanctorum, leading to occasional jostling.
Sources in the temple administration, in their defence, said the March 20 meeting might have discussed the matter, based on a police report, which suggested that the security cordon was breached during the First couple’s visit.
The president of the Suar-Mahasuar Nijog (servitors’ organisation), Damodar Mahasuar, today lodged a complaint at the Singhadwara police station against Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal and former Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) chief Pradeep Jena, accusing them of trying to defame the servitors of the temple.
Binayak Dasmohapatra, the assistant secretary of another servitors’ body, said, “If such an incident had taken place, the police should have arrested the servitors immediately.” The temple administration is trying to malign the entire servitor community, he alleged.