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5 held, ornaments stolen from temple recovered

Press Trust of India  |  Mangaluru 

Fivepersons have been arrested in connection with the theft of ornaments worth nearly Rs 90 lakh from the famous Mookambika shrine at Kollur in Udupi district.

Jewellery worth around Rs 90 lakh had already beenrecovered and further investigation is on, police said. Of the five accused, who were employees at the temple,four were produced before the Kundapur yesterday andremanded to judicial custody.

They were arrested on March 2.

The prime suspect, Shvarama Madiwala, was arrested on February 23 and police secured his custody.

He is beinginterrogated to get additional information on possiblerole of senior temple staff in the theft, police said.

Udupi district superintendent of police S Annamalai is in charge of the investigations.

The remaining four suspects, Gangadhar Hegde, Prasad Achar, Nagaraja Sherigar and Ganesh, have been taken to Hiriadkajail in the district.

District Deputy Commissioner (DC) R Vishal, who visited the temple last evening, told reporters that the probe was going on and no official or employee involved in theft would be spared.

Strict action would be taken against senior officials of the temple if any lapse was found in the administration, he said.

This is the first complaint relating to theft of valuables from the famous temple, which attracts lakhs of devotees, particularly from the Southern states.

First Published: Fri, March 04 2016. 13:13 IST