BREAKING NEWS

Ancient Nandi idol stolen from Bikkavolu temple in Andhra

A 9th century Nandi idol from the Sri Golingeswara Swamy temple has been stolen by unidentified miscreants at Bikkavolu village in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district.

"Two days back, a case has been registered by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) that a small Nandi idol of 1 ft height and a length of 1 ft and half is missing," East Godavari district superintendent of police M. Ravindranath Babu.

Babu said a theft case has been registered in Bikkavolu police station.

According to the SP, the idol was placed within the premises of the temple but not inside the sanctum sanctorum.

"A case has been registered and a special team has been formed under the jurisdiction of Ramachandrapuram DSP. They are investigating," he said.

The Indian Police Service (IPS) officer said a suspect's movement was identified on Saturday.

"So we are suspecting if treasure trove hunters were involved in the theft," said Babu.

Though the temple is equipped with CCTV cameras, the footage did not have clear visibility but the suspect's movement can be seen.

Considering the ancient nature of the temple, ASI is monitoring the probe.

"But the main statues (inside the sanctum sanctorum) were not disturbed. This temple is part of the ASI collection of temples," said the SP.

However, ASI officials were also clueless as to when the idol was placed in the temple.

Babu personally visited the crime spot on Wednesday to make his observations and analyse the clues.

He exuded confidence that the case will be cracked soon deploying technical expertise.

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