KURNOOL:Although the villagers of Chennampalli in Kurnool district are up in arms against excavations in the fort in search of treasure, the Mines and Geology and Revenue department officials have taken up digging works in the past couple of days with police protection. The operation went on even on Sunday under the heavy police security.
Now, the situation appears to be vandalisation of historic sites. The Revenue Department is allegedly on a pursuit of gold treasure at the 16th century fort at Chennamaplli village in Tuggali mandal. The area falls under Adoni Revenue Division, which is notorious for illegal gold trade and smuggling activities.
The high security digging operations for unknown treasure at Chennampalli fort for the past few days by the revenue officials has drawn severe flak from the villagers.
Going by the wild dream of a fakir that a huge amount of gold coins and other valuable jewellery of the Vijayanagara kings was buried in the fort has prompted the Revenue Department to take up excavations, it is learnt.
When TNIE contacted Adoni Revenue Divisional Officer M Obulesu, he said that it was not in his limits and it was conducted by the Mines and Geology Department. “I can’t give any details about it,” the RDO said.
Mining department assistant director Natarajan said that they were doing this operation as per the Mines Act. The mining official also refused to share details about the excavations.
District SP Gopinath Jatti said that they only provided police protection for excavation works in the fort.
“The revenue and mines and geology officials requested us for police protection to conduct the operation through the district collector,” the SP said.
Sarpanches Association district vice-president U Venkateswarlu said that the villagers objected tooth and nail to the aggressive pursuit of RDO Obulesu for treasure in the fort two days ago. “The revenue officials had convened a grama sabha after the protests from villagers and nobody has given their nod for excavation in the fort and adjoining temple,” Venkateswarlu added.