The Idol Wing CID branch on Tuesday arrested K. Anandkumar Rao, former executive officer of the Arulmigu Tharukavaneswarar Temple at Tirupparaithurai, near Tiruchi on the charge of stealing three idols from the shrine and making a replica of one of them.
Anandkumar, whose anticipatory bail was dismissed by the Madras High Court, had been absconding for over seven months, said an Idol Wing CID release. It had earlier arrested the temple accountant Kannan and another person, ‘Thirumalaikatti' Ramanathan, in connection with the case.
An antique idol of Angalamman besides those of Bogha Sakthi Amman and Chandikeswarar were stolen from the nearly 1,300-year-old shrine.
The trio stole and sold the antique idol of Angalamman and replaced it with a replica of the idol. Antique vessels from the temple were also stolen and used for making the new idol, said sources.
The theft of Bogha Sakthi Amman and Chandikeswarar came to light during the Vaikasi Visakam festival. The case, which was initially registered by Jeeyapuram police, was subsequently transferred to the Idol Wing CID branch.