Priest steals idol from his temple

Priest steals idol from his temple

Acting on a tip off that two persons were trying to sell an antique idol of Lakshmi Narasimha at Haleyangady, a team led by Mulki Circle Police Inspector Shivaprakash R Naik arrested Raghavendra Bhat and Manjunath. Upon enquiry, they revealed that they along with Sri Lakshmi Narasimha temple (at Heggaru in Theerthahalli) Priest Ramachandra Bhat had stolen the idol about eight months ago and were trying to sell the same.

Interestingly, the priest (Ramachandra Bhat) with the help from other accused had replaced the original idol with a replica and was offering prayers to the duplicate idol for the last eight months. When the police went to the temple to seize the duplicate idol, the villagers opposed. After convincing them, the police sealed the duplicate idol in the villagers’ presence.Three other accused Ravi, Sandeep and Dinesh have been absconding. Further investigations are on.

Along with the idol, the police have also seized an bronze inscription said to be 300 years old which reads that the temple land was donated to a certain Chennamaji belonging to Sadashiv Nayak family of Keladi rulers. Though the original idol measures only 11 inches, it weighs 5.5 kgs and may cost more than Rs 20 lakh, Police Commissioner Seemanth Kumar Singh told media persons on Wednesday.

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