CHENNAI: IF steps are not taken to strengthen the rooms where idols are kept to curb thefts, the High Court will be constrained to entrust such cases to CBI, the Madras High Court has warned. Justice R Mahadevan issued the warning on Wednesday when ‘Elephant’ G Rajendran, an advocate, who had raked up the issue, filed a memo alleging the deplorable condition of the ‘strong’ room in which idols of a temple at Koneripalayam in Nagapattinam district were kept.
Panchaloha idols of Lord Nataraja and other deities are kept in a small room with an ordinary lock worth just `50. Two policemen, who were posted there, were also withdrawn and there is no safety. All this resulted in the missing of the idol of Annapoorani from the temple, he said.Similarly, 30 panchaloha idols are being kept in a similar fashion in Meenakshi Sundareswarar temple at Senthalai village and a 70-year-old Sundarambal is taking care of the safety of the idols.
Taking a serious view of the matter, the judge observed that theft of idols are still going on unchecked, even after this court was seized of the matter and issued many directions. There are newspaper reports on heft of idols from Annamalaiyar temple. All this showed the sorry state of affairs of the State. If the department is unable to safeguard and preserve the property and idols of the temples, why should there be a separate department in the State, he asked. The judge later posted the matter for further hearing on Friday.