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KANYAKUMARI: In a daring act, burglars stole idols, gold jewellery, silver articles and hundi collection from the famous Mahadevar temple in Thickurichy in Kanyakumari district. While devotees claimed that panchaloha idols worth several lakh rupees were stolen, superintendent of police (SP) of Kanyakumari district , N Shreenath denied it saying that they were only bronze idols.

Preliminary inquiries revealed that the temple priest, Krishna Moorthy closed the temple after pujas around 8.45pm on Friday. When he came back to the temple on Saturday, he was shocked to find the main front door and other doors inside broken open and the locks lying on the floor. He also noticed a few idols missing along with some gold jewellery and silver articles.

It was claimed that four very old panchaloha idols worth several lakh of rupees were stolen by smugglers as it could fetch them good money in the international market. Based on a complaint lodged by the temple secretary, S Marthandam Ajith, 46, the Marthandam police registered a case under Sections 457 (trespass or house-break by night to commit and offence) and 380 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code.

Shreenath told TOI that the stolen idols included a nine-inch tall bronze idol of Siva, a four-inch tall bronze Pillayar idol, a four-inch bronze Subramaniyasamy idol and a small bronze Nanthi idol. “This is in addition to three sovereigns gold ornaments, 5.3kg silver articles and a hundi collection estimated to be around Rs 5,000. The total value of the stolen articles is around Rs 1.6 lakh,” he said.

Police conducted inquiries with the temple priests and officials from the Hindu religious and charitable endowments department.

CCTV footage from the vicinity was also being analysed to identify the accused.

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