Nagapattinam (TN), Oct 12: Three special teams have been formed by the police to investigate the theft of a 1,000 year-old Emerald (Maragatha) lingam from the Brahmapureeswarar Temple in nearby Thirukuvalai village.
Nagapattinam Superintendent of Police Durai said the teams have obtained some leads by studying cases of similar thefts in nearby areas in the past.
Fingerprints have also been lifted from the scene of the crime, he said, adding a sniffer dog that was brought in went from the temple to the bus stand.
"We are approaching the investigation from different angles," Durai said. The theft had come to light on October 10 evening when the priest went to perform pooja and found the lingam, also called 'Suyambu lingam' (created by God), missing and the box in which it was kept was broken.
Some archaeological experts have opined that the Lingam could have been made by King Rajendra Chola from Emerald stone, brought from an East Asian Country and was also known for its medicinal properties But renowned archaeologist Dr Kudavayil Balasubramaniam felt the Lingam might belong to the Musukuntha Chola period, one among the early Chola dynasty kings who ruled this area in the pre-sangam era.
He told PTI that Tamil puranas like 'Kanthapuranam' contain references to Musukuntha Chola installing the Maragatha Lingams in seven temples, including at this shrine.