TN transfers idol theft cases to CBI

The government order transferring the case to CBI, signed by Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi, comes a day after the Tamil Nadu government told the Madras High Court that it has taken a policy decision to ask the central agency to probe the cases. File photo

In a controversial move, the Tamil Nadu government on Thursday transferred to the CBI cases relating to theft of idols in various temples across the state from the Idol Wing CID led by court-appointed IG A G Ponn Manickavel.

The government order transferring the case to CBI, signed by Home Secretary Niranjan Mardi, comes a day after the Tamil Nadu government told the Madras High Court that it has taken a policy decision to ask the central agency to probe the cases.

The transfer of the case comes close on the heels of Manickavel, who was appointed by the court to investigate cases of idol theft, alleged before the court that his superior officials in the rank of Additional Director General of Police and Director General of Police were attempting to obtain sensitive information with respect to investigations being conducted by him and pass it on to the accused involved in such cases.

“Under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 (Central Act 25 of 1946), the Governor of Tamil Nadu hereby accords his consent to the extension of the powers and jurisdiction of members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment in the whole of the state of Tamil Nadu to investigate all Under Investigation cases being investigated by the Special team constituted for the idol theft cases and in all such future cases,” the order said.

Opposition parties and political observers questioned the government's move to transfer the cases to CBI on its own without any demand in this regard being made by people. Opposition Leader M K Stalin accused the government of “ulterior motive” in transferring to CBI the cases which were being investigated under high court's supervision.

“The government should allow the Idol Wing CID to complete its investigation and bring the truth out instead of transferring the cases to CBI,” Stalin said in a statement.

The Idol Wing CID had recovered many statues that were stolen from temples across Tamil Nadu and restored them in their original places.

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TN transfers idol theft cases to CBI

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