The Madras High Court on Monday, January 31, ordered the state police and the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment (HR & CE) Department to conduct a detailed probe and submit a statement on the case of the missing peacock idol from Kapaleeswar temple in Chennai. Following the order, the investigation into the missing idol has been intensified with the Tamil Nadu police, including the HR&CE department also launching a probe into it. The order was passed by the first bench of the Madras High Court comprising Chief Justice Muniswar Nath Bhandari and Justice PD Adikesavulu on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in 2018.
Following the court order, the Tamil Nadu idol theft squad has constituted a special team and commenced the investigation on the missing idol. The HR&CE fact-finding team is also conducting a simultaneous probe on the same. The idol wing of the CB-CID will be submitting the report in the court within six weeks. There were reports that the idol would have been stolen before 2004 and the former HR&CE commissioner, Phaneendra K Reddy has said that the change of idol must have occurred during March 2003.
In August 2018, a petitioner named Rangaraja Narasimhan had approached the Madras High Court with a writ petition alleging that the two-centuries-old peacock statue that originally existed in the Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore represented Goddess Parvati doing puja for Lord Shiva. The peacock, he claims, had a flower in its mouth. It was however, allegedly, replaced in 2004 when TVS Motors Company Chairman Venu Srinivasan was part of a government committee responsible for conducting the Kumbhabhishekam in the temple, he alleged. The statue currently present in the temple, has a snake in its mouth, according to the complainant.
(With IANS inputs)