Teerthankara idols stolen from Basadi
Thieves gained entry into Siddantha Mandira of Gurubasadi in Jain Mutt at Moodbidri and decamped with 12 ancient Teerthankara idols worth crores of rupees.
The theft came to light when Jain Mutt manager Uday Kumar took a team of pilgrims from North India to Siddantha Mandira for darshan at 9.30 am. As per the CCTV footage, one person is involved in the theft.
The thief had used a gas cutter to remove the grills of a window on the eastern part of the Mandira to gain entry. Later, he used the gas cutter to drill a hole in the shutter door of the room where the idols were kept. As the CCTV camera inside the room was damaged by the thief, it could not record any his activity. However, the camera has the footage of him entering the Mandira. The thief had covered his face to protect his identity. The incident must have taken place in the wee hours of Saturday, said the police.
Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari D Veerendra Heggade had provided eight CCTV cameras to the Mandira two months ago.
The siren in the Mandira also failed to work when the thief gained entry. The staff were sleeping in the Guru Basadi adjacent to the Mandira. They also did not hear any noise.
Speaking to mediapersons after visiting the spot, Heggade said, “the ancient idols at Siddantha Mandira were national property. In spite of having modern technology to check any theft, the thief has taken utmost care while carrying out his act.”
Jain Mutt’s Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swami is on a US tour and will return on July 11.
Three Teerthankara statues embedded with sapphire, three statues embedded with emerald, sapphire and crystal, Gomateshwara statue in sitting posture embedded with pearl, golden mantapa and idols embedded with ruby have been stolen. All the statues are one to two inches tall.
Mangalore City Police Commissioner Manish Karbikar said five teams had been constituted to nab the accused.
“We have also sought the cooperation of police from neighbouring states in nabbing the thief,” he said.
Shravanabelagola’s Charukeerthi Pattacharyavarya, Minister for Youth Services and Fisheries Abhayachandra Jain, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel and others visited the spot.
DH News Service