Mystery shrouds emerald lingam robbery

The robbery at Thiyagaraja Swamy temple concurs to a theory put forward by Kerala Police in 2012

KOZHIKODE: The mystery around the robbery of emerald idols of Lord Shiva from various temples in the country has something more than meets the eye.

According to Kerala police officials, who have been probing the robbery of a similar emerald idol of Lord Shiva from Sringeri Mutt, Kalady in Kerala in 2009, the same person is suspected to be behind the incidents as there is a belief that if one offers puja to a particular number of such emerald idols together for a specific period of time, he or she would gain more wealth, power and vitality.

The latest theft of an emerald lingam, dating back to over 1,000 years, from Thiyagaraja Swamy Temple in Thirukkuvalai last week has in fact proved this vital point, which Kerala Police stumbled upon ever since they started their probe into the theft of a similar idol. The robbery at Thiyagaraja Swamy temple concurs to a theory put forward by Kerala Police in 2012 that some specific gang is involved in the theft and they have been lifting the idols since they believe that the water, milk and honey used to anoint the idol have healing powers.  

Though a special investigation team, formed to probe the Kalady case, suspected the role of US-based Indian antique dealer Subhash Kapoor behind the theft, they could not get any leads.

It was after several months of probe and analysis of the details collected from various sources that the then Temple Theft Investigation Special Team (TTIST), which was later renamed as Special Temple Anti Theft Squad, came out with the theory that the theft of the idol from Sringeri Mutt could have links to the other five missing idols from various temples in the country.

Referring to latest robbery, Deputy Inspector General P Vijayan said, “We are still weighing on this possibility because there is a sequence in lifting the idols and only a person with profound knowledge on ancient scripts know the details about the idols.” Vijayan was one of the leading member of the TTIST which carried out probe into the theft case.

Earlier, as per the details provided by the Tamil Nadu Police to the Kerala Police, an emerald idol of Lord Shiva was stolen from Thiruthuraipoondi Temple, Thiruvarur in February 2009 but it was seized by a special Tamil Nadu Police wing from a gang in October 2009. Another officer said there were details of idols mentioned in various books and they had referred it to Vedic and Hindu scholars for more details.

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The New Indian Express