The Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR & CE) Department continues to be in the news, this time for its response in the Madras High Court that records pertaining to the idol of a peacock at Punnaivananathar Sannidhi in Mylapore Kapaleeswarar temple have been destroyed.
The Hindu that the High Court bench of Justices R Mahadevan and PD Audikesavalu was shocked hear about the destruction of records that were sought by the Tamil Nadu Idol Theft Wing CID Department. The Government advocate P Kritika Kamal told the court that the HR&CE officials were giving “evasive replies” to requests made by Idol Theft Wing to provide the documents.
Wondering how the documents could be destroyed, the bench ordered the Inspector General of Police A G Ponn Manickavel, who heads the Idol Theft Wing CID Department, to investigate the matter. The missing documents argument affirms allegations of petitioner Rangarajan Narasimhan, observed Justice Mahadevan.
Narasimhan had petitioned the court saying that the missing idol carried a flower in its beak and it had been replaced by one that had the bird holding a snake in its beak. The idol was shifted out of the temple in 1994 during consecration.
Manickavel told the court that the records were destroyed systematically with some staff working on Saturday and Sunday to wipe off any evidence. He said the staff had been summoned for enquiry.
The idol wing has been investigating the theft of the peacock case and interrogated the chief Sthapathi Muthiah. M Thirumagal, Additional Commissioner of HR&CE, is one of the suspects in the case. Official source told Swarajya that Thirumagal’s replies to queries raised by the idol wing have been evasive. In particular, Thirumagal told the investigators that she wouldn’t take cognisance of missing things until she was informed. This was despite her office being just 100 metres from where the idol went missing.
Also Read: Tamil Nadu Idol Wing: Fighting Against All Odds—And HR&CE
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.