Mangalore (Karnataka), July 19, 2013: Dakshina Kannada district police has solved a Jain basadi theft case of Belthangadi taluk by arresting seven and seizing ancient Theerthankara idols. With the arrest of the seven, the police also could solve four more cases of temple thefts carried out in DK and Udupi by the gang.
Police have recovered six Jain idols stolen from a basadi in Belthangady taluk, 20kg of silver, 18.3 grams of gold and also seized three vehicles and lethal weapons used for the theft from the accused.
The arrested are Thimmaiah alias Thimma (55), sone of late Range Gowda of Eradakere village of Kadur in Chikmagalur, Somanatha alias Somesha alias Kulla (45), son of late Papaiah Vasala of Harnalli, Arasikere in Hassan district, Jayaraj (45), son of Eera Shetty, Kuvempu Nagar, Hassan, Ganga alias Gangaraj (40), son of Krishne Gowda of Kallahalli in Hassan, Nethra alias Nethravathi alias Nethramma (38), wife of Ananda of Mathoor village in Shimoga, Babu alias Rudra (55) from Uppinangady and Rajendra (65) from Shimoga.
The gang had stolen six panchaloha Jain antique idols of Theerthankara by barging into Bangady Basadi in Belthangady taluk on June 18. Though the total value of the seized items is estimated at Rs 17 lakh, the actual can be ascertained only by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as the panchaloha idols stolen from basadi are ancient.
Other valuables were stolen by the gang from Sri Rama Mandir, Brahmarakotlu, Sri Chandika Parameshwari Temple in Bantwal taluk, Ballamanja Sri Anantheshwara Temple, Punjalakatte in Belthangady taluk and Maravanthe Sri Varaha Temple, Kundapur.
Superintendent of police Abhishek Goyal told reporters that while Somanatha, Gangaraj and Thimmaiah enter shrines and steal valuables, Babu and Rajendra would keep vigil outside. Meanwhile, Jayaraj would keep the vehicle at least five kms away from the crime spot. On receiving phone call, Jayaraj would rush to the spot and pick up the others with stolen items; he said adding that the gang is armed with lethal weapons and chilly powder to launch counterattack if caught.
“While 8.5kg of silver ornaments and vessels were found in its original shape, remaining items were converted into ingots. We have decided to send the ancient idols of Theerthankara to the ASI for evaluation of its origin and value,” he added and said that
Rajendra, Thimmaiah are Somanatha involved in various theft and other cases at many places in the state. – News Courtesy: Times of India