A retired commissioner of Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HRCE) Department has been put under house arrest in connection with the irregularities in making a new idol for Palani Murugan Temple. A local court judge at Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur district has ordered that the former HRCE official be kept under house arrest for 60 days and has imposed stiff restrictions for his movement, Tamil daily Dinamalar reported.
Already, four persons, including the one who made the idol, have been arrested in connection with this case by the idol wing of Tamil Nadu police.
Retired commissioner Dhanapal had been escaping the arrest and he had moved the Madras High Court for anticipatory bail. His petitions were dismissed and he was asked to present himself before the Kumbakonam court in 15 days.
The judge barred Dhanapal from using his mobile phone, while ordering the idol wing police to take turns to guard his house.
The alleged irregularities took place during 2003-04, when the temple official decided to make a new idol weighing 200 kg. Within six months, the idol, made in 2004, became dark and it was shifted to a different room.
The new idol was reportedly made as part of a bigger game plan to smuggle the old one after replacing it with the new one. The officials have also allegedly swindled gold jewellery donated to the temple.