Another daring temple break in Padubelle-chief idol stolen......

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By Eugene DSouza, Moodubelle
Pictures by Anil Alva

Padubelle, 11 January 2010: Coming on the heels of the recent robbery of the Panchaloha  Utsava Moorthy and the one quintal weighing offering box in the Shri Mahalingeshwara Temple of Devaragudde during the night of 5-6 January 2010,  the gang of robbers struck again during the night of 10-11 January 2010 at another Shri Mahalingeshwara Temple also known as the Umamaheshwari Temple believed to be nearly 1,500 years old on the Belle river bank at the western end of the bridge that connects Moodubelle with Padubelle.


According to  B. Madhvacharya Bhat, the priest of the temple who stays at Padubelle, when he arrived at the temple at around 5.15 AM to offer the daily pooja, he found the lock of the treasury on the ground. On proceeding to open the main door of the sanctum sanctorum (Garbagriha) he found the grill of the strong inner door broken by  breaking the  four vertical rods. As the inner door had six locks, three outer locks and three slot locks, the robbers could not open the door.

Finding that the temple Garbagriha was broken, B. Madhvacharya Bhat immediately informed his young

er brother, Parshuram Bhat  who in turn informed the Shirva Police Station who came to the scene of the crime immediately and started investigations. Soon after, the dog squad and finger print experts also arrived at the scene and did their own investigation.



At around 8.30 AM, on the instruction of  Inspector Ganesh, B. Madhvacharya opened the inner door to find out whether the idols inside the Garbagriha were safe.  However, to the shock of  the priest and the police in particular and the people gathered in the temple in general,  it was found that the one and a half feet tall Panchaloha idol of the chief deity, Mahalingeshwara (Moola Moorthy) was stolen. It was probably dragged through the broken grill of the door by a rod with a hook as a result of which one of the hands of the idol and the base had fallen off inside the Garbagriha. The silver design (Prabhvali) on the wooden arch behind the idol was also pulled out leaving the wooden frame inside. The gift box kept inside the wooden grill near the Garbagriha was also broken open and the money was taken away by the robbers.


It is commonly believed that the same gang of robbers who had broken in the temple at Devaragudde might have struck again at the Shri Mahalingeshwara temple at Padubelle. This a dangerous signal that the robbers are not even sparing the holy places for the sake of some money. It may be possible that the organised robbery may be prompted by the fact that the ancient idols fetch good amount in international market as art pieces. Unless these robbers are brought to book many more temples or other places of religious  worship may become victims of such unscrupulous robbers.



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Comments on this Article
Louis Alva, Kattingeri / Dubai Tue, January-12-2010, 4:45
Sad to here the same type of incident again in Padubelle also, where as we had same type of robbery case in Devaragudde Temple few days back …!!! All the Villagers should be more careful and Vigilant on those we don’t know them and they are roaming around in our local areas like Moodubelle , Padubelle and surrounding Areas. Also now we need to take Extra care of other temples like Kattingeri,Manibettu,Pernankila and also including all Churches Mosques … !!! Let us all help Our Police dept on this matter and hope all the culprits will be caught very soon and punish them for their Crime..!!
NAVEEN MENDONCA, PADUBELLE Mon, January-11-2010, 7:16
Victor D, Moodubelle / Bahrain Mon, January-11-2010, 3:57
The temple break at Devaragudde and Padubelle. We are very sorry for that incidents, it is not nice to hear our Hindu friends worshiping statue stolen and the temple was robbed. We all wish soon the culprits should be caught and punished.
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