Tamil Nadu

Two suspects held in theft of lingams

The Idol Wing-CID on Thursday arrested two persons, who are suspected to have stolen lingams from a mutt in Varanasi and tried to sell them for crores of rupees.

The arrested were identified as S. Sivasankaran, 35, of Othakadai, and B. Rajesh Kannan, 38, of Thiruvathavur in Madurai. They tried to sell the lingams as precious antique items.

They were arrested after the investigation was reopened into the seizure of an emerald lingam from four persons who had met with an accident at Viralimalai in Pudukkottai district three years ago.

In October 2017, the police recovered an emerald lingam from a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that collided with a bus at Viralimalai. Four persons travelling in the SUV were injured. People surrounded the vehicle and retrieved the lingam, weighing 8 kg, hidden in a bag.

Investigation revealed that the four had gone to Nagercoil to sell it to a buyer. After they failed, they were returning to Chennai with the lingam.

The chargesheet was filed in a trial court and the investigation was reopened by the Idol Wing in Tiruchi on instructions from senior officers of the special wing after an application was filed in the jurisdictional court.

A special team investigated the case and arrested Sivasankaran and Rajesh Kannan. “Sivasankaran was staying in a mutt in Varanasi and had stolen three lingams from a swami. He ran a temple at a place near Othakadai and cheated devotees. He attempted to sell the two other lingams for crores of rupees,” an officer said.

The police recovered one white marble lingam, weighing 16.450 kg, hidden in an ashram at Renigunta, Andhra Pradesh. The two suspects with the seized articles were produced at the additional chief judicial magistrate court at Kumbakonam.

Police officers are not sure about the value of the lingams. “We have informed specialists and sought their help to examine them and assess their value,” the officer said.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 7:35:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/two-suspects-held-in-theft-of-lingams/article32923575.ece

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