Staff Correspondent

MYSORE: A gang of five persons took away cash and valuables from two “kanike hundis” (steel boxes kept for placing offerings) at Lord Ranganathaswamy temple in Srirangapatna, 16 km from Mysore, in the early hours of Wednesday. The theft came to light in the morning when the priest opened the main doors of the temple.

About Rs. 3 lakh and some gold jewellery offered by the devotees have been stolen, it is learnt.

According to the Mandya police, the gang members entered the temple complex through a ventilator. They broke open the “hundis” as they could not carry them and made away with the cash and valuables. It is suspected that the gang members might have remained inside the temple when it was closed in the evening. The incident occurred despite five watchmen guarding the temple.

Additional Superintendent of Police Krishnamraju told The Hindu that the theft had been committed by a professional gang without giving any suspicion to the guards. “Since it was raining, the guards could not hear the noise inside the temple,” he said.