Just hours before for the weekly temple procession, three diamond-studded golden crowns of the processional deity of the Govindaraja Swamy Temple in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, were found missing on Saturday evening. The temple, situated in Chittoor district, is an ancient Vaishnavite temple, and the crowns weighed around 1.3 kg.
According to local media reports, the incident came to light when the temple staff noticed that the three crowns had gone missing on the eve of the commencement of the weekly temple procession. The temple was closed at 5 pm for devotees and was opened again at 5.45 pm when one of the priests in the 18 sub-temples of the Govindaraja Swamy temple found that the crowns were missing.
Officials from Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), police and chief vigilant and security officers scouted the temple premises in the night and suspicions have surfaced that the crowns would have been stolen during the Suprabhata Seva on Saturday morning, with the knowledge of the temple staff.
According to the Tirupati police officials, the case of the missing crowns was first brought to notice by the vigilance officers. Speaking to TNM, Anburajan, Superintendent of Police of Urban Tirupati, said that the police have received a complaint from the vigilance officials and a case has been registered.
‚ÄúThere has been no breakthrough yet and six teams have been deployed in all directions under the supervision of two Deputy SPs. The case has been filed after we received an official complaint from the chief vigilance official,‚ÄĚ Anburajan said.
According to reports, TTD joint executive officer Pola Bhaskar has sought a report from the Assistant Chief Vigilance and Security Officer on the missing crowns. The TTD vigilance officials are verifying the CCTV footage in the temple.
Govindaraja Swamy Temple is a 12th century that was built by Saint Ramanujacharya. The temple is one of the earliest structures in Tirupati and also one of the biggest temple complexes in Chittoor district. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, referred to as Govindaraja Swamy.