TRICHY: After 47 years, the idol wing police have registered a case in connection with a theft of seven panchaloha idols worth Rs 110 crore from the Natanapureeswarar temple near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district. Based on a complaint by Vasu Iyer, the idol wing registered a case under Section 457 (2), 380(2), 120 (B) of the IPC and 25 (1) of the AAT Act 1972.
According to police, two dancing Krishna idols of 1 foot and 1.5ft, a 2.5 ft Agasthiar idol, a six-inch Ayyanar idol and a six-inch Amman idol were stolen on May 12, 1971 after miscreants broke open the front door of the temple. A year later, there was another theft at the 1,300-year-old temple at Thandan Thottam village, 10km from Kumbakonam – the Natanapureeswarar Natarajar and the Golu Amman panchaloha idols worth ₹50 crore were stolen.
All the 7 idols have still not been recovered, police said in a statement released on Thursday. It has come to light that of these, the Natarajar idol was kept in a museum in London before it was moved to the United States, police said.
Despite repeated appeals made by then trustees of the temple Subramania Iyer and Venkatrama Iyer, no case was filed with the Natchiar Koil police station. Even appeals to successive Prime Ministers went futile. So, for the past 47 years, the case was pending without an FIR being registered, the idol wing police said.