At a time when communal tensions are high in India, the ads for pilgrimages to Hajj and Jerusalem were printed on the back of tickets from Tirumala to Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. Tirupati is a holy site for the Hindus in Andhra Pradesh, near the Tamil Nadu border with thousands of devotees visiting the temple every year.
The ads in questions spoke about pilgrimage tours for Christians to Jerusalem and Muslims to Hajj. The gaffe led to the suspension of an official for the carelessness. The suspended official has been identified as M Jagadeesh Babu of the Controller of Stores in Nellore. The ads were printed on the back of Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSTRC) bus tickets.
According to reports, APSRTC clarified on Sunday saying that the ads were printed during the previous tenure of the TDP government and much before the Moral Code of Conduct was introduced in early 2019. They went on to say that Babu hadn't noticed the ads and because of this, he has been suspended and is awaiting disciplinary action.
"We immediately ordered an inquiry into the matter and found that the tickets were printed during the previous TDP government's term," the statement read.
The ads were disturbed by the Minorities department and were supplied at Tirupati depot. The statement further added that they were supposed to be issued in Nellore.