Burglars on Monday evening ransacked the house of acclaimed Kannada writer Kuvempu, which had been converted into a memorial for the writer after his death. Some of the writer’s awards were found missing which included his Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan awards.
Shivamogga district Superintendent of Police Ravi D Channannavar told The News Minute that the police had accessed CCTV footage by Tuesday evening and were likely to apprehend the culprits soon.
Deccan Herald reports that the trespasssers gained access to the memorial home by breaking the roof tiles. The incident took place between 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm.
The burglars damaged six out of the 22 cameras, a television, a glass almirah and stole Rs 1,000.
Three medals awarded by various universities were also stolen.
Ideally, the memorial home is manned by two security guards in two separate shifts of 8pm to 7am and 10 am to 8 pm. But on Monday, the guard on duty from 10 am decided to leave half an hour early as his wife delivered a baby.
The report also says that Manjunath, the security guard who came on duty around 8 pm alerted villagers about the possibilty of a theft after hearing sound from inside. By the time he came back with other villagers, the trespassers had already left.
The Hindu quoted the police as saying that the entire museum was ransacked and surveillance cameras had also been damaged. However, the Hindu reports that the poet’s Jnanapith Award was intact.
Kuvempu is considered to be one of the greatest Kannada writers of modern times. His poem titled “Jai Bharatha Jananiya Tanujathe” was eventually adopted as the “Naada Geethe” (state song).
S Bangarappa, CM of Karnataka between 1990 and 1992 had suggested that Kuvempu’s home be developed into a tourist attraction along the lines of Shakespeare's house in the UK.
Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Pratishthana or Trust (RKP), which was set up to look after the poet’s house and carry on the writer's legacy, maintains the museum.
An annual workshop is also held on the occasion of the author’s birth anniversary every year. The museum clocks around a million visitors every year.
The government of Karnataka has also conferred the honorary title of Rashtra Kavi on the writer. He has also been the recipient of numerous awards including the Sahitya Akademi and Pampa awards.