Kukatpally CCS sleuths here on Saturday nabbed a six-member gang of idol lifters and recovered three ancient panchaloha idols of Lord Chennakesava Swamy, Bhudevi and Sridevi of 12th century, all worth over Rs 1 crore.
During the interrogation of the accused, the sleuths identified the idols as those lifted from a temple in Parlapalli village under Mugullapally mandal of Warangal district. The police said the Parlapalli temple was burgled for second time recently.
The accused were identified as Kondabattini Bixapathi, 75, a priest of Padmashali caste and residing at Tenuguwada under Vangara Mandal of Kareemnagar district; Buneni Sampath, 25, a farmer of Andugulameda village under Venkatapur Mandal of Warangal district; Gurrala Shankar, 27, a stone cutter of Sitarampuram village under Ghanapur mandal of Warangal district; Reddy Ravi, 38, of Anandapuram village under Venkatapur mandal; Lenkala Mallaiah, 32, car driver, of Jangalapally village under Mulugu mandal; Nune Mallaiah, 55, of Kondapur village under Ghanpur mandal of Warangal district.
The police said principal accused Bixapathi told his accomplices that the idols of Lord Chennakesava Swamy, Bhudevi and Sridevi in Parlapally village are precious and were stolen earlier. He also lured them saying the idols are worth several crores of rupees in international market and they can be sold at least for Rs 50 to 60 lakh to rich people. Accordingly, they hatched a plan to commit theft of the said idols.
In the intervening night of July 15 and 16 this year, the accused gathered at Parlapally and lifted the idols as shown by Bixapathi and decamped.
While the accused were trying to sell the idols at Vasanth Nagar, KPHB, the CCS Kukatpally team nabbed the gang under the guidance of Dr B. Naveen Kumar, DCP Crimes, and confiscated the three idols. (NSS)