The police and revenue authorities have taken a serious view of the theft of teak and other trees from the lands belonging to the Sri Vedagiri Lakshminarasimha Swamy temple located atop Narasimhakonda, 18 km west of Nellore city, recently.
Superintendent of Police Vishal Gunni said that serious action would be initiated against three persons accused of chopping the trees and illegally transporting them to a timber depot locally.
He said that cases were being filed against the revenue staff for giving a false certificate to the persons involved in the crime.
“Firm evidence is being gathered to substantiate the charges against the revenue staff. The District Collector has also taken a serious view of the case,” he added.
The theft of temple property has raised much heat in the district headquarters as it hurt the sentiments of the devotees and the general public.
The value of the stolen property in the timber market was put at Rs. 8.5 lakh. Apart from looking at the value of the property involved, the authorities had taken serious note of the audacity with which the accused dared to rob the temple of its property.
Non-bailable warrants have been issued against the accused persons. As they are absconding, three teams have been constituted to nab them. The property of the accused and their bank accounts have been seized, say police sources.
Cases under theft and prevention of destruction to public property have already been filed against them. In the FIR, details about the teak trees and other property have been included as per the complaint given by the Endowments Department authorities.
The Narasimhakonda hill shrine has assumed significance with the government drawing up action plan for developing temple tourism circuits in the district. The other famous temples include Penusila Lakshminarasimha Swamy temple at Penchalakona, and Sri Rajarajeswari Devi temple and Sri Ranganadha Swamy temple in Nellore.