Unidentified miscreants broke into a temple in Telangana's Kothagudem town on Sunday and stole around Rs 1.5 lakh from the temple hundi, after bludgeoning the watchman to death. The incident took place close to the head office of the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) and triggered mild tension in the area.
The deceased has been identified as 70-year-old Venkat Reddy, who was killed when he woke up and tried to raise the alarm during the theft. The police reached the spot after they learnt of the incident and deployed a dog squad. They are also checking CCTV footage in the area for clues.
Kothagudem DSP Shaik Mohammed Ali and Superintendent Sunil Dutt also visited the spot and spoke to locals. The police said that they are considering robbery to be the main motive behind Venkat's murder.
A case was registered with the One Town police station after a complaint by the deceased's family.
Speaking to TNM, the Kothagudem DSP said, "We are yet to establish how many people were involved in the crime. While sifting through the CCTV footage, we were able to spot one person going into the temple, though it is still not clear. A case has been registered under IPC sections dealing with murder for gain."
Further details are awaited.
Just a month ago, the Rachakonda police in Telangana nabbed a two-member gang who were involved in a series of thefts at temples and seized property with Rs 26 lakh from their possession.
Some of the places where the accused had committed offences included Venkateswara Swamy temple in Ameerpet, Sree Seetharama Chandra Swamy temple and Chowdeshwari temple in Hayathnagar, Gattu Maisamma temple in Ghatkesar, Tirumala Nada Swamy Temple in Chityala among others.
The police said that they had recovered silver crowns, silver cones, idols, spoons, plates, lamps and even brass bells, amounting to Rs 26 lakh in the market.