Kundapur: The Kundapur police subjected Shivaram Madiwal employee of Kollur Mookambika temple, accused of stealing temple ornaments to questioning at the temple.
During the questioning, it has come to light that Shivaram pledged gold ornaments worth more than Rupees 30 lakh in banks and financial institutions. The police after questioning Shivaram and with the information provided by him contacted officials of the banks and financial institutions where he had pledged the gold.
The inquiry in regard to the stolen ornaments was held under the supervision of executive Officer of the temple T R Uma, Deputy Executive Officer Krishnamurthy, temple priest Dr K N Narasimha Adiga, Manjunath Adiga, Superintendent Ramakrishna Adiga, Sub-Inspector Shekar, Former Executive Officer L S Maruthi and other staff.
It is reported that 32 ornaments were stolen from the temple. 48 different models of ornaments were received in the form of offerings to the temple from July 22, 2012 and were kept in the locker, during the inquiry only 11 ornaments are found. The accused Shivaram had pledged the remaining ornaments worth Rs 25 lakh in banks and other financial institutions. It is learnt that Shivaram was stealing ornaments to pay his debt.
The accused Shivaram has said that as pressure mounted on him he stole the ornaments, several others supported him to carry out the robbery. “I was hoping that if any problems arose, others would come to rescue me but they all have now fixed me in this issue”. “In the days to come I will reveal the names of those who helped me to carry out the robbery”, he added.
During the inquiry it has also come to light that Shivaram had stolen only gold ornaments while silver ornaments were left behind along with ornaments offered by entrepreneur R N Shetty.
The security lapse by the temple authorities has been widely criticized. Police have recovered ornaments worth Rs 5 lakh hidden in the temple. Investigation is on to recover other stolen ornaments.