Police crack Srikalahasti temple case

Three brothers held in connection with unauthorised installation of idols

The Tirupati urban police on Monday night took three siblings, residents of Puttur town, in connection with the unauthorised installation of the idols of Shiva linga and Nandi close to the Dwajasthambam (flag post) inside the complex of Lord Vayulingeswara Swamy temple, Srikalahasti. The incident came to light on September 12.

According to the Tirupati urban police, acting on a complaint from the authorities of the Srikalahasti temple devasthanam, the One Town police at Srikalahasti registered a case and took up investigation. Superintendent of Police (Tirupati) A. Ramesh Reddy formed a special party for investigation.

On September 12, the staff on duty noticed the presence of the idols of Shiva linga and Nandi close to the flag post zone and this led to a controversy, followed by protests by political and religious groups, alleging failure of security in the temple and laxity of the authorities in identifying those responsible for the act.

CC cameras footage

In this backdrop, the special party saw the footage of over 100 CC cameras in the temple zone, besides the digital surveillance data in hotels and vital junctions in and around Srikalahasti. The footage showed that three youths clad in masks moving suspiciously in the temple complex and carrying some objects on their shoulders on September 6. The three were also seen moving towards Tirupati by two motorbikes with TN and AP registrations.

Though the police tried to trace the contacts with the help of the registration numbers, it did not give tangible results. The team also searched for the addresses of the suspects in Chennai, Madurai and some areas on the TN-Kerala border. After a gruelling exercise, the team could trace the original owners of the motorbikes with technical support, leading to the identification of the present owners.

The three were identified as Pindi Sulvardan (32), Pindi Tirumalaih (30) and Pindi Munisekhar (28), all siblings and residents of Dalitwada in Puttur municipality.

Interrogation of the trio revealed that seven years ago, a mendicant had suggested the brothers to install Shiva linga and Nandi inside the temple at Srikalahasti. As part of this, the family, which said to have experienced bad times in recent years, had ordered for the idols with a sculptor at Tirupati for ₹7,000. Later, the trio had carried the idols into the temple and positioned them close the flag post.

They were booked under IPC Sections 120B, 47 and 297. Further investigation is on.

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