TAMIL NADU

1 held for theft of temple idols

The Idol Wing CID police have arrested a 46-year-old man in connection with theft of three idols from the ancient Tharukaneswarar Temple at Tiruparaithurai in Tiruchi district in 2017.

The accused, Ramanathan, was involved in making garlands for the temple and is said to have gained proximity to the temple authorities. He was produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Kumbakonam on Wednesday and remanded.

Idol Wing CID sources said idols of Boghasakthi Amman, Angalamman and Chandikeshwarar were stolen from the temple in 2017 and subsequently sold. The Idol Wing CID police took up the case from the local police and launched a detailed investigation.

Later, they registered a case against temple executive officer Anandakumar Rao, temple accountant Kannan and Ramanathan in connection with the theft of the three idols.

The bail petition of Anandakumar Rao was dismissed by the Madras High Court subsequently. The sources said the accused had kept a fake idol of Angalamman in the place of the stolen one, which belonged to a temple in Musiri in Tiruchi district.

After perusing the photographs of the original idol and during examination of witnesses, the police found that the replica of Angalamman idol kept in the temple was fake, said the sources.

Meanwhile, the Idol Wing CID police arrested Deenadayalan, an employee of Chennai-based entrepreneur Kiran Rao, from whose guest house several idols were unearthed. Deenadayalan was produced before the Additonal Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Kumbakonam on Wednesday and remanded.