SHIVAMOGGA: A burglar on Monday made away with gold medals, Padma awards and `1,000 in cash from poet Kuvempu’s birthplace near here. The keepsakes had been on display at a museum honouring the poet, the first to win a Jnanpith for Kannada in 1969.
The burglar entered Kavimane, the majestic house in Kuppalli village of Thirthahalli taluk, between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm. Police said he looked 50 and had masked his face as he sneaked into the thotti mane with the help of a ladder. Thotti mane refers to a style of building characteristic of the picturesque Malnad, with a central courtyard open to the sky surrounded by built structures. Kuvempu (1904-94), one of the greatest Kannada poets of the 20th century, was born here. Kuvempu is an acronym for Kuppalli Venkatappa Puttappa.
After entering the house, the burglar damaged the six CCTV cameras inside. He made away with the medals presented to Kuvempu with the Padma Bhushan (1958) and Padma Vibhushan (1988) titles. Security guard Manjunath, who returned to Kavimane after dinner, heard a noise inside. He alerted fellow guards, but by the time they grouped, the burglar had escaped. Inside, they found glass showcases broken and the furniture in disarray. They informed the police.
Superintendent of Police Ravi D Channannanavar visited the spot on Tuesday morning. Fingerprint experts and a dog squad were pressed into action. Police released CCTV footage on social media and announced a reward of `10,000 for information about the thief.