Vetrivel, a temple executive officer working under the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE), was arrested for stealing gold coins weighing 30 grams during the collection of donations received in the hundis of the Sri Mariamman Temple at Samayapuram in Tiruchirapalli.
The police arrested him after going through the CCTV footage of the temple. He is an officer from the Sri Erumbeeswarar Temple in nearby Thiruverumbur, who had come on special duty for the donation collection process.
T R Ramesh, an activist who works to free Hindu temples from government control said that the executive officer was caught only because of the CCTV footage and otherwise the HR&CE department in such cases usually conducts an ‘internal inquiry’ and closes the matter without reporting it to the police.
The incident comes after the Supreme Court issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government, in a petition related to temple control filed by Indic Collective, an organisation headed by T R Ramesh.
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