Top HR&CE official, ex-staff arrested by idol wing cops


Thanjavur: The idol wing police have arrested two people including the joint commissioner and a retired employee of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department in connection with the theft of six idols from the Pasupatheeswarar temple at Panthanallur near Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district. A court has remanded them in judicial custody till December 7.

Believed to be more than 1,000 years old , the Pasupatheeswarar temple was established during the Chola period. Some years ago, precious idols kept at 73 temples in several villages were shifted to the temple for security reasons. The villagers used to take their idols back at the time of festivals with prior approval from the HR & CE officials and duly return them.

Meanwhile, when idol enumeration was carried out by the department officials in 2013 it came to light that six idols belonging to the temples of Keelmanakudi Viswanathaswami and Sri Rengarajapuram Idumbeswarar — which were kept safely at the Pasupatheeswarar temple — were missing.

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