Udupi: The district Crime Intelligence Bureau has nabbed three accused in inter-district temple thefts and seized items worth Rs 28 lakh, said K Annamalai, District Superintendent of Police. He was addressing the mediapersons at a press meet held at the SP Office, here, on October 30.
The accused have been identified as Narasimha Raju (37), a resident of Arodi, Doddaballpaur; Mohammed Shabir (20) and Feroz Pasha (22), residents of Sira village, Tumkur district. The accused were detained in Sira village. The search for two other accused – Chand Pasha and Rehmat who are absconding – has been intensified.
Police have recovered 553 grams of gold, 20 kg silver, 1 Hero Honda bike, 1 Bajaj Pulsar bike, 1 Tata Sumo car, 7 mobile phones and Rs 20,650 in cash. The total value of the items recovered is Rs 28 Lakh.
The modus operandi of the accused was to watch programmes broadcasted on news channels on temples and later draw a plan to loot the temples located in remote areas. Using this method, they looted Mahalasa Narayana Temple, Hiriyadka; Shree Durga Parameshwari Temple, Belman; Shree Mahalingeshwara Temple, Miyar; Shree Durga Parameshwari Temple and Mahalingeshwara Temple, Miyar; Mahalingeshwara Temple, Pilarkhan; Shaneshwara Temple, Tumkur; Ranganathswami, Adi Naryana Temple and Ahobala Narasimha Temple, Tumkur. An FIR is yet to be registered for thefts at Durgaparemeshwari Temple, Kaup and another temple in Perdoor.
The accused Narasimha Raju is also involved in theft of 4 bikes and 2 chain snatching cases filed in Bengaluru Urban police station. The accused are said to be cutting the stolen idols of gods into pieces which were melted and later sold to a gold ornament shop in Chikpete, Bengaluru.
16 temple theft cases were registered in Udupi district in 2015 in which the arrested three are involved in 6 of the cases. The remaining 10 cases are in the process of investigation, Annamalai added.
The investigation was led by DCIB Inspector T R Jayshanker along with ASI Rosario D’Souza, Ravichandra, Ramu Hegde, Chandra Shetty, Sanosh Kunder, Suresh, Raghavendra Uppunda, Praveen, Shivananda Poojary, Dayananda Prabhu, Raj Kumar Byndoor, Shivanand, Nithin, Dinesh and Jeep drivers Naveenchandra and Raghavendra.