5 held, ornaments stolen from temple recovered

Mangaluru, Mar 4: Five persons have been arrested in connection with the theft of ornaments worth nearly Rs 90 lakh from the famous Mookambika shrine at Kollur in Udupi district.

Jewellery worth around Rs 90 lakh had already been recovered and further investigation is on, police said.  Of the five accused, who were employees at the temple, four were produced before the Kundapur court yesterday and remanded to judicial custody. They were arrested on March 2.      


The prime suspect, Shvarama Madiwala, was arrested on February 23 and police secured his custody. He is being interrogated to get additional information on possible role of senior temple staff in the theft, police said. Udupi district superintendent of police S Annamalai is in charge of the investigations.

The remaining four suspects, Gangadhar Hegde, Prasad  Achar, Nagaraja Sherigar and Ganesh, have been taken to Hiriadka jail in the district.

District Deputy Commissioner (DC) R Vishal, who  visited the temple last evening, told reporters that the probe was going on and no official or employee involved in theft would be spared. Strict action would be taken against senior officials of the temple if any lapse was found in the administration, he said.     

This is the first complaint relating to theft of  valuables from the famous temple, which attracts lakhs of devotees, particularly from the Southern states.


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