CHENNAI:Idol Wing sleuths on Tuesday arrested M Kavitha, Additional Commissioner of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department (HR&CE) on charges of misappropriation of gold in the two panchaloha idols made for the Ekambaranathar temple in Kancheepuram.
The two idols, which were supposed to contain 5.75 kg of gold together and whose making was overseen by the then Deputy Commissioner of HRCE, Kavitha, did not contain even a single gram of gold, according to Idol Wing officials.
In 2015, Tamil Nadu chief sthapathi M Muthaiah advised the HR&CE on making new idols of Ezhavarkuzhali and Somaskandar, pointing out that the idols made in 2009 had not complied with the traditional rules. Permission was granted and orders were laid down that the Somaskandar idol should weigh 50 kg and the Ezhavarkuzhali idol 65 kg, amounting to a net total of 115 kgs. But the order was revised to make the idols weighing 111 kg and 63 kg respectively.
The department also provided alloy compositions needed for the making of the idols. An idol should contain 5% gold, 1% silver, 80% copper, 12% brass and 2% tin. Five percent of 115 kg will be 5.75 kg of gold.Investigators said that though the HR & CE officials had collected huge quantum of gold as donation for the idols, it was not used at all and swindled by them.
The idols were made at Swamimalai near Kumbakonam on the orders of the Hindu Religious and Endowment board in 2015. The temple executive officer invited gold donations for the idols but never kept an account of the accepted gold ornaments, an official involved in the investigations said. After sculpting, both idols were brought to the Kancheepuram temple and installed.
The issue of came to light after one Annamalai lodged a complaint with the police. As no action was taken, the magistrate court ordered the police to probe the case