NATIONAL

Kerala temple theft: Panel to move SC for probe

The Administrative Committee of the Sree Padmanabha Swamy temple has decided to approach the Supreme Court seeking an inquiry into the controversy related to the theft of precious ornaments and stones from the temple sanctum sanctorum.

In an official statement here on Sunday evening, released through the public relations department, the Supreme Court-appointed committee said the officials had not informed it about the theft. The committee convened a meeting on the basis of a news report that the police had registered a case of theft. The statement said the committee did not know whether any physical verification was carried out prior to the handing over of charge by the temple’s ‘Periyanambi’, Upparnam Narasimhan Kumar, at the end of his term on December 17, 2015. It was also not aware of the circumstances that led to the continuance of the ‘Periyanambi’ in office for another two months.

Term extension

The statement said the committee had received a letter from the ‘Panchagavyathu Nambi’, the second in command ‘nambi’, suggesting that the term of the ‘Periyanambi’ be extended till the end of the festival season since he was not fully conversant with the rituals associated with it. The committee issued orders to the executive officer to extend the term of ‘Periyanambi’ term till the end of the festival season.

The ‘Periyanambi’ laid down office on April 22. However, the committee is not aware of an audit being conducted in the sanctum between December 17 and April 22.

The committee is also not aware whether any physical verification was done when some gold ornaments were repaired.

It is not clear whether the handing-over procedures were observed when the ‘Periyanambi’ laid down office on April 22.