The cops interrogated the two priests who were on duty at the sub-temple from where the crowns went missing. (File photo)
The Andhra Pradesh Police are suspecting that the priests of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) temple to be involved in the robbery of three gold crowns of the temple. Special teams were formed to trace the ornaments that went missing on Saturday evening. The cops interrogated the two priests who were on duty at the sub-temple from where the crowns went missing. According to ToI, a TTD official said that the priests work in shifts. When one of them takes charge from the other, he checks all the jewellery of the deities. The police are investigating the case and also looking for a possibility if an internal quarrel between the priests led to the robbery.
The golden crowns adorning the deities Lord Govinda Raja Swamy and his consorts Bhudevi and Sri Devi were found missing.
TTD assistant executive officer Kola Bhaskar said the theft was noticed around 10.30 pm on Saturday and the TTD’s vigilance wing immediately informed the police, as reported by the Hindustan Times. The police are investigating the exact of the cause of events. According to TTD Joint Executive Officer, P Bhaskar, priests at one of the 18 sub-temples in Sri Govindaraja Swamy temple noticed that the three diamond-studded golden crowns missing. The main doors of the temple were closed after the evening ritual of naivedyam (offering to God) was offered to the deities. When the doors were re-opened half-an-hour later, the crowns were found missing, he said.
The crown adorning deity Govinda Raja Swamy weighs 528 grams while those of Sri Devi and Bhu Devi weigh 528 grams and 408 grams, respectively. As there were no visitors after naivedyam, the police are suspecting one of the temple staffers to be involved in the theft, Bhaskar said as quoted by the daily.