Sosale mutt seer among three held for theft of silver chariot

Sosale mutt seer among three held for theft of silver chariot

 Three persons including the seer of a mutt were arrested on Friday in connection with the theft of a silver chariot.

The arrested have been identified as Vidyamanoharatheertha Swami, the pontiff of Vyasaraja Mutt (Sosale),his mother Srimathi and Pramod, his disciple.

Superintendent of Police Abahinav Khare said that 23 kg of silver had been recovered from the accused. The three have now been remanded in judicial custody, while another accused, Uddhavachar, the father of the seer, has obtained anticipatory bail.

The theft had come to light in 2013, when the devotees started arrangements for a temple festival. They learnt that the six-foot tall silver chariot was missing and Narendra, a devotee, had lodged a complaint with the T Narsipur police.

According to sources in the police, the silver sheets on the wooden chariot had been removed and converted into blocks before transporting them in a car in December 2012. While some silver blocks were kept at the houses of few acquaintances, some of them were sold.

Earlier too, a devotee had petitioned the High Court alleging a scam involving crores of rupees in the mutt, which has over 50 branches across the nation, including one in T Narsipur and another in Mysuru. Following directions from the High Court, the government had formed a management committee with the Muzrai commissioner as its head. As most of the allegations were proved, the government took over the management of the mutt and appointed an administrator in May 2012. The mutt is headquartered at Sosale in T Narsipur taluk, while the seer used to stay at its branch in Mysuru.

According to devotees, Vidyavaridhitheertha Swami was instrumental in making wooden chariot in 1935. Silver sheets had been fixed to the chariot during the period of seer Vidyaprasannatheertha Swami.

Recently, a case had been filed against the seer and his parents for allegedly pawning some gold plates of the mutt for money. The accused were on bail in this case.

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