Police say they have a definite leads and are confident of nabbing accused soon.
All four antique idols stolen from the Chithraradha Vallaba Perumal temple at Kuruvithurai near Sholavandan in Madurai district on Saturday night, were found abandoned at Kalyanipatti junction coming under the Uthappanaickanoor police station limits on Monday night.
Small pieces of the panchaloha idols of Lord Vallabha Perumal and Lord Srinivasa Perumal were cut by the thieves, “probably to find particles of gold in the five metal alloy idols,” Inspector General of Police (Idol Wing) A.G. Ponn Manickavel said. However, the idols of goddesses Sri Devi and Booma Devi were intact.
On Tuesday morning, Inspector General of Police, South Zone, K.P. Shanmuga Rajeswaran and Madurai Rural District Superintendent of Police N. Manivannan inspected the idols kept at the Sholavandan police station along with Mr. Ponn Manickavel.
Mr. Rajeswaran told reporters that a farmer K. Ganesan, 42, had found the idols along the path leading to his farm around 11 p.m. on Monday.
He alerted his relative, a police constable attached to the Vilampatti police station in Dindigul. The idols were secured and taken to the police station.
“Since I was aware of the theft at the Kuruvithurai temple, I thought they could be the stolen idols and alerted the police,” Mr. Ganesan said.
The pressure created by the 10 special teams, under the direct supervision of senior police officers, forced the culprits to abandon the idols, Mr. Ponn Manickavel said. The idols were left on the road, Mr. Manivannan said.
‘Each idol worth ₹1 cr.’
Stating that the idols were registered as antiques, Mr. Ponn Manickavel said that each of the four idols could be worth ₹1 crore. While Mr. Shanmuga Rajeswaran said that Mr. Ganesan would be rewarded for his assistance, Mr. Ponn Manickavel said that he would personally write to the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department recommending a reward of ₹1 lakh.
Mr. Ponn Manickavel said that the temple did not have a strongroom. He added that temples would be advised to replace CCTV networks with HD cameras.
Stating that the police had got leads in the case, Mr. Rajeshwaran exuded hope that the special teams would be able to nab the culprits soon.