Why are emerald Maragatha Linga idols of temples targeted by the thugs?

1992 recovered Maragathalingam, Thirukkaravasal temple thehindu.com

Above image: A  view of the recovered Emerald Lingam (Maragatha Lingam) which was handed over to the Thyagaraja swamy temple in Thirukkaravasal  (1992) near Thiruthuraipoondi in Thiruvarur district photo credit: The Hindu ........

There are many temples in the delta districts of Tamil Nadu- Thanjavur, Thiruvarur, Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts where the worship of Maragatha Shivalinga is part of puja protocol. This practice has been in vogue for centuries and some  of those greenish emerald lingas are pretty old, dating back to 1000 years. They  were installed or procured by the erstwhile rulers of Chola Dynasty. 

Delta districts of Tamil Nadu. scroll.in

Why are the idol lifters targeting the maragatha lingas in the Hindu temples?   According to  Kerala police officials, based on their detailed study and analysis of thefts of such lingas in  Tamil Nadu as well as the theft of maragatha linga in 2009 at the Sringeri mutt of Kalady, Kerala, there is a likelihood  the same person is suspected to be behind the theft in Kerala and TN. 

The Kerala govt. formed a special investigation team to get to the bottom of the Kalady case as the maragatha linga was a pretty old one  specifically brought to this place by the earlier seer of Sri Sringeri Sarada mutt of Karnataka.  Kerala police had every reason to suspect the role of  US-based Indian antique dealer Subhash Kapoor (now in Jail in Tamil Nadu) behind the theft at Kalady. Their efforts could not get  them any handle  to take the case forward.  The Kerala police took the cue from the  theft of an emerald lingam, dating back to over 1,000 years, from Thiyagaraja Swamy Temple in Thirukkuvalai, Thiruvarur district of TN. 

The main reason for the theft of Emerald green Shiva linga: 

01. Way back in 2012 the Kerala police came up with a strong view that some specific gang was  involved in the theft of such idols made of gemstones. The main reason   for the theft was the idol is subject to abhisheka almost daily  during the puja ritual.  Temple priests anoint the idol with water, milk and honey. After ritualistic abhisheka, the stuffs  gain  healing powers to cure physical as well as mental wellbeing.

02. In some temple the maragatha lingam is covered with sandal wood paste  for a specific period  for reasons of protections from vibrations caused by playing percussion instruments during the puja time. Countless devotees  believe that the sandal paste, once in a while removed from the idol,  has medicinal properties, particularly to cure skin diseases, etc. 

03. The belief has been that if a person  offers puja to a  greenish emerald Shiva Linga idol  of a temple where it  had been kept  for a long period of time as a divine object of veneration and subjected to daily abhisheka and other puja rituals, such an idol  gathers  special mystic power.

04. The energized  idol, through regular chanting of certain mantras almost daily,  emanates positive power around it. Its unique aura is such that it will negate the negativity and get rid of evil forces around it. 

05. If such a holy and sanctified  maragatha lingam is in the puja room of a house, the family members   will enjoy good welfare, better health and power that will give the members  some kind of respectability in the society. 

06. Shiva Lingam, for the Hindus, is a  symbol of energy and is an embodiment of Pacha  Boothas - five essetial elements that sustain life -  fire, water, earth, sky and air; hence he is  the primeval source  energy that  created the universe.

07. Maragatha Linga   symbolizes  power, wisdom and  tranquility as Shiva is like a mendicant, always in a meditative mood.

08. Worshipping the emerald linga will help you acquire discretionary power and the person won't be tempted to do anything  in a hurry without second thoughts, 

09. The Shiva linga not only imparts humility but also instills confidence to surmount difficult periods in the life,

The afore-mentioned reasons regarding the theft of temple maragatha linga seem to be purely logical. The paradox is how come a person will obtain wealth, prosperity and peace of mind  by praying before the stolen temple idol kept in his or her puja room at home? Is it not a sin to keep  a venerated divine object at home that is supposed to be in its abode- temple? The possible reasons given for the theft of maragatha  linga are not tenable. The real reason is human greed.