In another incident of idol theft in temple, the ashtadhatu murthis of Lord Lakshman, Lord Hanuman and Goddess Sita were stolen on Saturday night from a Ram-Janki temple situated in Rampurva village in Hardi Police station area in Bahraich, Uttar Pradesh, reports Amar Ujala. The thieves broke the lock of the temple in the night and took away the murthis worth crores in the international market. The incident has angered the people in the area. The police assured the people appropriate action and started investigating the case.
The incidents theft of precious murthis with high values in international market are on a considerable rise. In another such incident, three diamond studded gold crowns were stolen from the Govindraja Swami temple in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The police are on a look-out for the thieves. The former Chief Priest of the Tirupati temple had earlier alleged that the State government and the temple administration were mishandling the temple affairs.
Theft of antique idols has become a constant threat to temples, especially precious murhtis of the temples or jewellery offered to the deities by devotees. Several incidents of thefts of murthis were reported last year mostly involving the theft of antique idols with high value in the international market. In November last year, the ancient ashtadhatu idol of Ugratara temple in Guwahati was stolen. Although the thieves were arrested by the police, the stolen items including the ancient idol could not be found. Due to this, the temple management had decided to get new idols made.