The Crime Branch CID of the Tamil Nadu police on Thursday arrested A. Elamparithi, Executive Officer of Arulmigu Vadapalani Andavar Thirukoil, in connection with the theft of gold and diamond jewels from the Sri Oppiliappan Temple in Thirunageswaram, Kumbakonam, where he served a few years ago.
According to police sources, the CB-CID registered a case based on a complaint lodged by the Executive Officer of the temple that original precious stones and gold jewels owned by the temple were replaced with fake ones.
The complaint was preferred following a detailed enquiry conducted by the Joint Commissioner of the Hindu a Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department. While one of the accused Vijay Kumar was arrested a few weeks ago, Mr. Elamparithi was taken into custody on Thursday.
Asked where the precious stones and gold jewellery were located and whether any recovery was made, a senior investigator said police teams were trying to retrieve the stolen jewellery based on the inputs given by the accused.
Parrying questions on the quantum and worth of the stolen jewels, he said the accused had conspired to steal the precious stones and gold ornaments ahead of a major temple festival.
While initiating the process of melting old temple jewels for making a gold shield, they replaced the original jewels with fake ones. Following a specific input, the HR & CE Department ordered a probe by a Joint Commissioner.
A special team formed to investigate the case found the involvement of Mr. Elamparithi.
“We arrested him in Chennai. There could be more suspects involved in the case. All efforts are being made to recover the stolen jewels,” the official added.
Original stones and gold jewels owned by temple were replaced with fake ones