Andhra Pradesh

Police crack Nandi idol damage case

SIT chief and DIG G.V.G. Ashok Kumar and Krishna district SP M. Ravindranath Babu look at the tools used by the accused in Nandi idol case, at Nandigama on Friday.  

In a joint operation, the Special Investigation Team (SIT), constituted to probe into the temple attack cases, and the Krishna district police cracked the Nandi idol damaging case in Sri Kasi Viesweswara Swamy temple in Makkapeta village in the district.

They busted a seven-member treasure trove gang, including a temple priest, who resorted to the act, said SIT chief and DIG G.V.G. Ashok Kumar and Krishna district Superintendent of Police (SP) M. Ravindranath Babu.

The gang conducted ‘recce’ and took photographs the Nandi, located in the temple established by Kakatiyas, believing that precious diamonds were embedded in the ears of the idol and damaged them.

Disclosing this to the newsmen here on Friday, Mr. Ashok Kumar said the gang desecrated the idol with superstitions. “SIT is probing whether the accused have any political links. A detailed investigation is under progress,” he said.

Mr. Ravindranath Babu, who is also the SIT member, said the police questioned 218 temple offenders, involved in similar crimes in AP and Telangana States earlier, and picked up the prime accused -- A. Srinivasulu and Ch. Krishnaiah of Hyderabad.

Based on their confession, SIT picked up I. Vijay, A. Venkatappaiah Sastry (priest in Anjaneya Swamy temple in Gampalagudem village) and two others in the case.

The gang broke open the lock of the temple on the night of September 16, broke the ears of Nandi by using gas cutters, chisel, hammer and a driller. When they did not find any diamonds in the ears, they planned to steal the Nandi idol.

In the meantime, the temple management replaced the idol with a new one. The gang tried to convince the priest of Visweswara Swamy temple, Yugandhar Sarma, who grew suspicious, and alerted Nandigama DSP G. Nageswara Reddy and Jaggaiahpet CI P. Chandrashekar Reddy.

The police team, led by Vatsavai SI S.L.R. Someswara Rao and Jaggaiahpet SI B.V. Rama Rao picked up the gang members in Telangana State, who spilled the beans. Police registered a case under Treasure Trove Act, 1978, and other IPC Sections.

“We seized a car and the tools used for the offence. Efforts are on to nab the remaining accused of the gang,” Mr. Ravindranath Babu said.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 1:43:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/police-crack-nandi-idol-damage-case/article33638814.ece

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