TIRUVANNAMALAI: Seven persons were arrested for their alleged involvement in idol theft incidents in the district, on Thursday. The police also recovered five panchaloha idols and an Green Emerald idol of Lord Shiva believed to be 1,300 years old.
Acting on a tip-off, a team of Idol Wing CID attached to the Economic Offences Wing and Law and Order police laid a trap to nab the gang. The team, posing as idol buyers, approached one Nithayanantham of Tiruvannamalai.
He asked them to come to a house near Emalingam temple on the Girivalam path to take a look at the idols. A police team went to the house at around 5 am and caught M Nithyanantham (34), M Murugan (29), R Senthil Kumar (37), R Paulraj (49), J Divyanathan (60) and K Gunasekar (43) from Tiruvannamalai and S Shyam Sundar (30 ) of Walajah red-handed when they showed the idols.
The team recovered two to three-feet tall panchaloha idols of Nataraja, Sivagami, Narthana Vinayagar, Amman and a green Emerald Shiva. They also seized two cars and a two-wheeler from the accused.
Inspector General of Police (Idol Wing) A G Pon Manickavel told the mediapersons that these idols belong to Vijayanagara period.
“These idols were stolen from temples of Tiruvannamalai district during the last few years. However, we are yet to identify from which temple they were stolen,” he concluded.