Two burglars gained entry into the historic Sri Mangalanathaswamy temple at Thiru Uthirakosamangai, near Ramanathapuram, in the early hours of Sunday and made an attempt to take away the emerald Natarajar idol after attacking a temple security guard.
They gained entry into the temple by scaling the compound wall, attacked Chellamuthu, 60, who was sleeping with an iron rod and tried to break open the grill gates of the Natarajar ‘sannathi’. When the burglar alarms went off, they fled from the place, police said.
On hearing the commotion and burglar alarm, two other temple security staff, who were sleeping in front of the Swamy and Ambal ‘sannathis’, rushed to find Chellamuthu with head injuries. He was rushed to the government hospital here, police said.
Hospital sources said he was stable but in a state of shock. He could not recollect the incident coherently, they said.
The burglars had disconnected an alarm at the ‘sannathi’, but two other alarms, including the one installed in the outer area to alert the local people, went off. The burglars escaped by jumping over the compound wall, police said.
The 1.8-metre-tall ‘Maragatha’ Natarajar idol, made of a single deep green emerald stone was kept in the high security ‘sannathi’ with two grill gates. The ‘sannathi’ was designed in such a way that the idol could not be taken out without breaking it, temple officials said.
A police team, led by Kilakarai DSP Murugesan and sub inspector Marisamy, visited the temple and made enquiries.
On the request of V.K. Palanivel Pandian, Diwan of the Ramanathapuram Samasthanam, that administers the temple, police personnel were posted on round-the-clock security duty.