Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh) [India], September 30 (ANI): The Andhra Pradesh Police on Wednesday said it arrested eight people of an interstate treasure trove gang and cracked within 72 hours, the case of desecration of the 'Nandi' idol outside 'Abhaya Anjaneya Temple' in Chittoor district.
As per the official statement by state police, upon receiving credible information that certain members of the gang were hiding in the Kanipakam Mandal, one of the three teams formed by police to investigate the matter rushed to the location and successfully nabbed the entire gang of eight members.
"Five out of the eight accused who were arrested belong to the neighbouring state of Karnataka, which makes this an inter-state gang. Keeping this in mind, the police investigated further into the modus operandi of the gang in order to unravel the entire plot," it said.
The police said that upon being questioned, the accused revealed that the gang first obtained information about a lot of temples in the state, then spoke to the locals to find out if any of them have a treasure hidden underneath.
"In the meantime, those who came in from Karnataka found local partners to collaborate with them. The accused went to the extent of going on a recce before finalising the plan and executing the same," it stated.
Police's statement added that the investigation, along with certain photographs recovered during the process of making the arrests, revealed that the accused also readied plans for carrying out similar acts in temples in Chittoor's Kanipakam, SR Puram, Tirupati, Kurnool district's, Kurnool, Mahanandi, Patthikonda and Mantralayam and a few temples spread across Ananthapur and Guntur districts as well.
"Names of the accused are Kuruvu Somasekhar, MS Manikanta ( Karnataka), JL Naveen ( Karnataka ), R Saravanan, S Kiran Kumar ( Karnataka), M Vikas ( Karnataka ), Ashok Kumar ( Karnataka ), and P. Peddababu," police added.
Speaking about the arrests, S Senthil Kumar, Superintendent of Police (SP) Chittoor said that people tried to project this incident as a targeted attack due to the negligence of the police which is entirely false.
"In this case, we traced the accused within two days of registering the case. We have also taken up a massive drive to ensure the safety of religious places. Have asked all the management's to install CCTVs. Had the management of this temple taken that initiative, this incident could've been prevented," he said.
Police said that on September 27, a local from the Abhayamangalam region of the Chittoor district reported the fact that the auspicious 'Nandi' outside the 'Abhaya Anjaneya Temple' was desecrated, and GD Nellore police immediately registered an FIR and started investigating. (ANI)