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    Chaos at Tirumala as VIPs break barricades

    TIRUMALA: Utter chaos prevailed at Tirumala on Thursday as lakhs of devotees thronged Lord Venkateswara temple for Vaikuntha Dwara Darshanam on the auspicious Vaikunta Ekadasi. The Tirumala-Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) plans for comfortable darshan simply fell apart.It was ordinary devotees who suffered the most despite having on hand different types of darshan tickets introduced by the TTD for the occasion. The entire queue system was mismanaged.Commotion took place at ATC, near Vaikuntam Queue Complex, when devotees with VIP passes congregated in large numbers. They rushed forward to enter the queue complex by removing barricades.TTD security personnel and officials had to bring some order before checking the passes and allowing them into queue lines, which resulted in a delay of about two and a half hours. Sources said that a huge number of VIP passes were issued like never before. However, the commotion and resulting delay had little effect on the darshan for VVIPs, who included ministers and judges.VIP pass holders, who were expected to have darshan at 12:30 am, had darshan at 3:30 am, and consequently, Sarva Darshan was delayed.It started at 6:30 am instead of 4 a.m as announced earlier.Those who had entered the Vaikuntam Queue Complex with Divya Darshan, and Sarva Darshan tokens and Rs 1,000 tickets, raised slogans against TTD management for making them wait for hours.Slogan shouting took place at the Mahadwaram at least three times.Meanwhile, holders of Rs 100 and Rs 300 ticket (sold through e-Darshan counters across the state) were allowed through a special entrance set up at Rambhageecha through temporary queue lines from Varaha Swamy temple. Since there was delay, the devotees, who reported at the time indicated on their tickets, got stuck in queue lines and there were several push and pull situations all through the day.With the situation slipping out of hand, the TTD deployed Octopus personnel along with police for queue control. Devotees were very unhappy and said they had the most uncomfortable darshan.“We have expected something and we experienced some thing different,” said an angry devotee from Vishakapatnam. Similar views were expressed by many others. TTD employees too were not happy with the new system introduced this year.