Kadapa : Two "priests" from Kerala were
arrested for possessing 28 antique idols and unaccounted cash
of Rs 8.81 lakh from YSR district, a senior police officer
said on Monday.
Raghavendra Theerta Swami (41) and his disciple K K
Lakshimikanth Prabhu (42) were arrested yesterday by Kadapa
Rural Police from Indira Nagar colony in Chinta Komma Dinne
mandal (block) in the district, they said.
According to district police superintendent Sundar Kumar
Das, Swami is an accused in a criminal case registered against
him in Ernakulam police station in Kochi city.
Police yesterday seized 28 idols made up of different
alloys, including gold, of different sizes, besides a laptop,
six SIM cards, three cell phones and Rs 8.81 lakh cash from
the duo. Twenty one precious `Navaratna` stones were also
seized from them.
According to Das, the idols date back to the 6th century.
Police said the duo are natives of Srinagupuram
Kodungalur village in Kerala`s Trichur district.
Quoting Swami, the SP said the idols, precious stones and
cash belong to Sri Kasi Math Samstan where he holds post as
`21 Peetadhipathi`. The accused, however, failed to furnish
any documentary evidence in support of his claims.
Police said the accused also claimed that Tirupathi
district court has directed him to hand over the religious
articles to Swami Sudheendra Teerth of Sri Kasi Math Samstan
but he was possessing them as an appeal was pending in the AP
High Court in this regard.
The SP said the duo will be handed over to Kerala police
for further investigations.