ANANTAPUR: Suspected treasure hunters removed a Garuda idol at the ancient Venkateswara temple in Kundurpi mandal headquarters of Anantapur district on Thursday night.
According to Kalyanadurgam rural Circle Inspector Shiva Shankar Naik, unidentified miscreants, suspected to be treasure hunters, dug up and displaced the Garuda idol in the temple.
The temple is said to be constructed in the 15th century by Palegalu chieftain Kontei Naidu, who governed the area. Though it is a small temple, devotees in the region visit the temple regularly.
On Friday, the devotees who went to the temple to worship Lord Venkateswara were shocked to see that the Garuda idol was removed from its place and thrown aside.
People in the village felt that it was a bad omen and decided to perform special rituals.
Police visited the temple. A case has been registered and an investigation is on.
It is not the first time such incident to have taken place in Anantapur district in recent times.
Just two weeks ago, after Ganesh Chaturthi, unidentified miscreants suspected to be treasure hunters tried to dig up Shankara Swamy temple in Agali village in Madakasira Mandal. The miscreants were chased away by a police constable who saw them.