Gold ornaments, silver articles missing from Lal Darwaza Mahankali temple

Tension gripped Lal Darwaza and its environs following the discovery of a theft in the historic Sri Simhavahini Mahankali temple and desecration of the deity inside the temple early on Wednesday morning.

Police said the thieves had entered the temple by breaking open the main door lock and stole 12 tolas gold ornaments and four kg silver articles. Intruders ransacked the valuables inside the temple and made away with the ornaments, including the deity’s eyes, nose ring and a crown made with silver.

A diamond ‘bindi’ that was presented by the Nizam in 1908 was also stolen from the forehead of the idol, said the temple committee advisor G. Mahesh Kumar Goud.

The incident came to light when a temple worker, Mallesh, noticed the broken main door lock and immediately alerted the committee members.

As the news spread like wildfire, hundreds of devotees assembled in front of the temple and staged a demonstration protesting against the police ‘inaction’.

Local politicians, cutting across party lines, also came to the spot and demanded that the government take stern action against the culprits. The protesters relented only when senior police officials assured them that thieves would be nabbed within a few days.

DCP (South) Akun Sabarwal observed that gangs who were earlier involved in such theft cases in temples could be involved in the burglary. Special teams were formed to trace the burglars, he said.

The temple committee advisor wanted the police to probe why the thieves had targeted only the idol instead of stealing doors with heavy silver plating. He suspected an ulterior motive behind the theft.

Based on a complaint lodged by a temple committee member Ch. Raju Yadav, the police had registered a case and further investigations are on.

Mayor visits temple

Mayor Mohd. Majid Hussain visited the Lal Darwaza Mahankali Temple on Monday on hearing about the theft and called upon the police commissioner to expedite the investigation so that the culprits are nabbed at the earliest.

He interacted with the temple committee members and pointed out it was one of historic temples of the city and its sanctity should be protected, a press release said.

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