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Assam Rifles seizes smuggled human hair in Mizoram; political mudslinging starts in Andhra

AIZAWL/VIJAYWADA: The seizure of around 120 bags of smuggled human hair by the Assam Rifles in Mizoram has triggered a political mudslinging in Andhra Pradesh since yesterday.

The confiscated consignment of hair, worth about Rs 2 crore, is stated to be on its way to China through the smuggling route of Myanmar and Thailand.

In its investigation, the Assam Rifles discovered that the human hair was being transported from Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The Assam Rifles seized the smuggled consignment a week ago, but kept it a secret as investigation was on.

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The smugglers were apprehended and 120 bags of human hair were confiscated by the Serchhip Battalion of the 23 Sector, Assam Rifles.

According to sources, the hair was being transported to Myanmar by smugglers. The hair would have been shipped to Thailand, then to China.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has on Tuesday blamed the ruling YSR Congress Party for the illicit trafficking of human hair from Tirumala Tirupati to foreign countries.

“The illegal smuggling activities were uncovered by the seizure of Rs 2 crore worth of devotees’ hair. It is clear from this that the YCP leaders are running rackets that trade in human hair in addition to sand, cement, liquor, and other commodities,” Ayyanna Patrudu, a former minister and TDP senior leader, said.

The opposition party also demanded an explanation from the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government as to why the hair mafia at Tirumala temple has not been discussed.

Thousands of pilgrims and devotees from all over the world come to the Andhra Pradesh hill shrine to present their hair to Lord Venkateswara as a sign of devotion and reverence.

Meanwhile, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) Trust, which manages the lord’s hill abode, has clarified that the seizure is not related to TTD.

TTD said its stock of tonsured hair, which is donated by devotees, is sold to foreign bidders on an e-auction site.

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