In yet another high-profile temple robbery in the state, a 400-year-old lingam believed to be made of emerald was stolen from the Suryambeeswarar temple in Thiruporur on Friday night. The police however say that they are yet to confirm if it was indeed an emerald stone.
Thiruporur police told The News Minute that villagers have alleged that on Friday night there was a power-cut in the area and that’s when the burglars entered the temple and stole the lingam. Police added that according to the temple records, it is a lingam made out of green marble, but the villagers claim that it was made of emerald and was worth at least Rs. 2 crore.
Police also added that the archaeology department also told them that there is no idol in that temple made out of emerald. However, police have taken the fingerprints from the sanctum sanctorum and are investigating the case.
A case has been registered under section 457 and 380 of IPC (lurking, house-trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment and the other charge being theft in dwelling house), police said.
The Times of India reported that the temple became popular among devotees after a one of them told the temple authorities that the lingam was a valuable idol. A police officer said that two weeks ago some miscreants were chased away by villagers after they attempted to break open the gates of the temple.
Following the incident, the locals were guarding the temple on rotation basis. But on Friday due to heavy rainfall and power-cut, they could not continue the duty after 11pm and when the villagers reached the temple on Saturday morning, the lingam was missing, reported TOI.
The complaint was filed by a man named T Anand, a resident of Illlalur village. He told The New Indian Express that the temple was 400 years old and it comes under the HR& CE department, but has not been visited by the officials for long.