Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India], January 23 (ANI): The main accused in the case of theft of three silver lion idols in the premises of the Sri Durga Malleswara Swami Temple on Indrakeeladri Hill of Vijayawada have been arrested.
According to Vijayawada City Police Commissioner B Srinivasulu, a complaint had been filed by the temple Assistant Executive Officer N Ramesh Babu on Sunday after three idols of silver lions fixed on the chariot of Goddess Kanakadurga within temple premises went missing.
The police formed special teams for the case and the SIT formed to investigate the cases related to temple offenses also got involved.
It has been revealed that the accused Jakkampudi Saibabu (49) from Gollavani Tippa village, in the West Godavari district had stolen the lion idols and sold it to Mutta Kamalesh (39), a jewelry businessman at Tanuku Town in West Godavari district. The police have arrested both of them.
"Due to COVID-19, devotees visiting the temple have reduced since March last year. Saibabu is an old temple offender. He had come to the temple in June last year where he observed the silver chariot covered with blue cover in a shed in the premises of the temple. He observed that there were four silver lion idols and later returned to steal three of them," Srinivasulu said.
The police arrested Saibabu and receiver Kamalesh and recovered 9 kilograms of silver blocks of silver lions stolen from Vijayawada Durga temple. The police further recovered another 6.4 kilograms of silver blocks.
A total of 15.4 kg of silver blocks have been recovered from the accused.
The police commissioner further said that the accused will be taken into custody and other legal formalities will follow. (ANI)