Madurai: In a twist to an idol theft case, four ‘panchaloha’ idols stolen from the Sri Chitra Ratha Vallabha Perumal Temple in Madurai were found abandoned on the roadside near Vilampatti, Dindigul.
According to sources, the idols were abandoned near a private agricultural land. A passerby, Ganesan, alerted the police about the idols.
On inspection, police found that a part of a Perumal idol had been damaged by the idol lifters.
The police suspect that the culprits could have attempted to cut the idol to find out the gold content in it. It is said they abandoned the idols as they found it difficult to extract the gold.
Each idol is said to be worth Rs 1 crore.
A days ago, two unidentified men broke into the temple located at Kuruvithurai, in Madurai, and stole the idols of Lord Vallabha Perumal, Goddess Sridevi, Goddess Boomadevi and Lord Srinivasa Perumal.
Following the incident, the Madurai police had formed 10 teams to trace the gang.
Inspector General of Police (IG) Pon Manickavel, heading the Idol Wing, said Ganesan, who gave the information to the police, must be rewarded.
The idols were stolen at a time when the department is investigating the seizure of idols from businessman Ranvir Shah and entrepreneur Kiran Rao.
Recently, artefacts, including pillars and statues, were unearthed from the Teynampet residence of Kiran. She came under the scanner of the Idol Wing police after the team recovered 89 ancient idols from the Saidapet bungalow of Ranvir.
The confiscated artefacts are worth Rs 100 crore, it is said.
The Idol Wing has not got any response to the summons issued to the duo.