Five persons, including trustees and priests of a temple at Guntur, were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly driving an endowments department official to suicide.
Krishnaveni (31), assistant executive officer at the Sri Venkateshwara Swamy and Sri Anjaneya Swamy temples at Lalapet in Guntur district, hanged herself to death in her residence at Shivaji Nagar in Monda Market area on October 2. In a suicide note left behind, she highlighted the harassment meted out to her by the accused.
The five persons bore a grudge against her for taking steps to contain corrupt practices at the temple and even launched a campaign to malign her character.
According to police, the temple income used to be around `8 lakh before Krishnaveni took charge a few months back. After took the position, she initiated stern steps to control irregularities, following which the income rose to `24 lakh within a short span. Deprived of their ‘additional income’, some priests and trust members turned against her, and started to harass her. Investigation revealed that Krishnaveni, and even her family members, were attacked by the accused. They even threatened to sue her under the SC/ST Atrocities Act.
With mounting pressure she faced in exercising her duties, Krishnaveni returned to her house and was in depression for some days. Though her family members tried to assure her that everything would be all right, she took the extreme step.
The arrested are Venugopal (a junior assistant), Marri Satyanarayana and R Balakrishna (trust members), Papayacharyulu and Manikanta Pavan Kumar (priests).