The theft of stone peacock idol of Tiruchendur temple and Police investigation

Tiruchendur murugan temple, TN
Please refer to my early posts on blatant idol thefts going on in the Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu being managed by the HR&CE. According to the latest media reports  six officials, including the former HR&CE Joint Commissioner of Tiruchendur Sri Subramaniya Swamy temple, have been named in a case related to the alleged replacement of a stone peacock idol at the temple. The idols are roughly 200 years old. The irksome fact is the idol was damaged in the neck and was replaced quickly;  all this was done without informing senior officials. 
The tamperd  peackcock stone idol
Devotees and others strongly believe that  those officials  allegedly took away peacock idol in 2017 in order to sell  it for a fat price to idol exports. In the place of the original idol, to avoid suspicion, they had another stone peacock idol replaced. Though this idol theft took place two years ago, people are glad that a criminal case is registered  on a complaint filed by Idol Wing Inspector Thennarasan with the Temple police, Tiruchendur. In front of the garbagraha/ sanctum two peacock idols and a Nandi /bull) are located. The complaint is about the peacock idol on the left allegedly taken away by  unknown people (outsiders)  in collusion with the temple employees on the night of August 6, 2017. To avoid getting caught, they tampered with the  CCTV camera network fixed inside the temple. When the foul activity was going on, it was off the CCTV camera.   On August 19, it is believed that a replica of the stolen stone peacock was reset secretly in such a way it never caused any suspicion among other honest officials and regular visitors to the temple. For unknown reasons, some  officials on duty, it is alleged,  did not report the incident to senior officials as the regulation requires. However, former HR& CE Joint Commissioner had filed a report to the Idol Wing based on the incident.The High Court asked the famous idol wing sleuth A.G. Ponn Manickavel to look into the theft, accordingly he and his team found out that it was dereliction of duty on the part of some officials, including higher-ups not to have reported this serious matter to the authorities concerned. They termed it as ‘Intentional omission’. To avoid further embarrassment to the HR & CE  department which already got a bad rap, the  department recently  fired  a number of officials who were on duty when the incident took place.
Tiruchendur murugan temple, Tamil Nadu
This idol theft at Tiruchendur  Subramaniya Swamy temple and countless Hindu temples of Tamil Nadu clearly shows the callous attitude of the  senior HR & CE officials  in the safety of valuable idols  and laxity on their part. Further, it brings to light to what extant  some employees have become greedy and money-minded by way of stealing revered temple idols for personal gains. Devotees are of the opinion that the culprits who steal idols of  Hindu deities must be non-believers in Hinduism, lacking integrity and devotion to duty. It is strange how such people are chosen for responsible jobs in places of worship. Employing such disgusting people - non-believers of gods in the temple is like having wolves as guards in a cattle ranch!!
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple, (Tuticorin didtrict Tamil Nadu), an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to lord Murugan (God Karthikaya) is a pretty old temple.  It is 60 km south-east of Tirunelveli, 40 km from Tuticorin and 75 km north-east of Kanyakumari. Unlike other Subramanya temples, this one is on the shores of Bay of Bengal and its  historical name is Jayanthipuram. One of the six famous six abodes (Arupadaiveedu) of God Subramanya,  it is  the fourth Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu to get ISO certification. 

Tiruchendur Murugan Temple is famous for the  centuries-old annual temple festival called  Soorasamharam, a reenactment of the victory over Soorapadman, a demon  by God Karthkaya (Murugan). The  demon  caused untold miseries  to the people and the sages. God Karthikaya, with special divine power, at last killed the demon in order to save the innocent people from his treachery.   Kanda Shasti, a devotional song in praise of Lord Muruga, is recited   at the temple. Male devotees are not allowed to wear upper garments - shirt, banian, etc. Lungies are not allowed. Women are expected to wear traditional dress; no tight gowns or pants are allowed. As for the puja,  Kerala-style temple rites are being followed here and, it is said, that the main priest here is from the Kerala Nambudri Brahmin family.