Priest, wife found dead

ELURU, OCT. 7. A priest, Dinakara Raghavendra Rao (50), and his wife, Anita Kumari (30), were allegedly murdered at their residence at Komatikunta in Gopalapuram mandal of West Godavari district on Thursday.

According to the police, Raghavendra Rao was reportedly involved in the theft of Panchaloha idols of Rama and Sita at Rama Satyanarayana Swamy temple in the village in which he had been a priest since 2001.

He was in the custody of the Gopalapuram police for the last four days and was released only on Wednesday evening.

The police zeroed in on the couple following the confession by a shop owner at Jangareddygudem that he had purchased the idols from the priest for Rs. 40,000

. The theft was committed three weeks ago. The District Superintendent of Police, K. Narasimha Murthy, and the Jangareddygudem Incharge DSP, M.Ashokavardhan Reddy, visited the scene of offence.