Did a man pretending to be a devotee of the seer to enter the mutt premises and make away with the CCTV footage?

Udupi seer death Shiroor Mutt CCTV footage goes missing
news Death Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 09:54

The investigation into the death of Lakshmivara Theertha, the chief seer of Shiroor Mutt in Udupi's Shri Krishna Temple, took another twist after it was reported that CCTV footage from the mutt had gone missing.

DVRs of CCTV footage of July 17, the day Lakshmivara was admitted to the hospital, were reported to be missing, sending investigators into a tizzy.

Sources in the mutt told TNM that when the police cordoned off the mutt’s premises on Saturday, they realised that the DVR containing the CCTV footage was missing.

“After enquiring with the people in the mutt, we came to know that a man who claimed to be a devotee of Lakshmivara Theertha entered the mutt after the swamiji was taken to the hospital. We suspect that he must have taken the footage as it may have contained crucial evidence as to what happened on the day of his death,” police sources said.

On Saturday, the police seized the utensils in the mutt’s kitchen and also the groceries in the pantry, which have been sent for analysis. Police sources say that they found a half empty bottle of an energy drink, which they suspect the seer had consumed.

“We have sent the bottle to the forensic lab for its contents to be tested. We have learnt that the seer liked drinking the energy drink and would have it on a daily basis. This could be a source through which he may have been poisoned. However, until we get results from FSL, we will not be able to tell what caused his death,” the source added.

A preliminary report by Kasturba Hospital in Manipal, where the seer was admitted, had raised suspicions that the seer was poisoned.

Udupi SP Laxman Nimbargi requested people to not spread rumours about the case. "We are going to give a statement when the medical reports come in. We have not booked anyone so far and are questioning several people in Udupi about the case. The details will be revealed soon and I request people to stop spreading rumours," the SP said.

Several theories have since emerged about the death of the seer. The New Indian Express reported that the seer was in financial trouble and was looking to sell a shopping complex he owned in Manipal. Ravikiran, the seer's lawyer based in Kundapura told TNIE, "I was told by the seer that he had paid Rs 10 crore interest on a bank loan and that he wanted to clear the loan as soon as possible."

Ravikiran had earlier told TNM that the seer was planning to file a case against Vidyadheesha, the chief seer of Palimar Mutt, over the custody of an idol.

Read: Shiroor mutt seer death: The many angles and theories being probed

Rumours have flown thick and fast in the temple town about the activities of the seer, who had made a name for himself for his lifestyle including his passion for swimming, collecting antiques, or his expertise in musical instruments.

Read: The suspicious death of an Udupi seer, and the conflict around the reigning deity