The rural police recovered precious and priceless Panchaloha idols of Sri Chennakesava Swamy, Sridevi and Bhudevi belonging to the 12th century, from a four member gang here on Monday.
Rural SP, LKV Ranga Rao said they would fetch over Rs. 1 crore in the international market. They were stolen by four members from Parlapalli village in Mogullapalli mandal three months ago. On Monday, when the Mogullapalli police were conducting vehicle search operations near bus stand at the mandal headquarters, they found the gang proceeding to Hanamkonda carrying the idols in a bag to dispose them of. When questioned further, they confessed to their crime.
The members – V Ramesh, Ch Prakash and V Satyam were taken into custody while the first accused Azmeera Ravi was in central jail in connection with another case. The accused belong to Mulug, Venkatapur and Bhupalpalli mandals and to make a fast buck, they said they stole the idols.
The SP appreciated the efforts of policemen and gave away cash awards to the personnel involved in solving the case.
The SP also urged the villagers to form vigilante groups and protect the priceless treasure stored in temples in their respective temples. The treasure hunters are on the prowl in Warangal district believing that the Kakatiya rulers hid gold and other rare metals underground. In a similar incident, Panchaloha idols were recovered from another gang few months ago in Mahabubabad area.
He said they would alert the Endowments Department to indent all the old temples and Panchaloha idols across the district and urge them to engage Special Protection Force to safeguard the temples. “We cannot value the idols in terms of money. Such things should be protected all costs and from police department, we keep an eye all time,” he told newsmen.