​Hyderabad: The Rachakonda LB Nagar Special Operations Team (SOT) on Friday solved the robbery case of antique panchaloha idols that was recently reported from the Ramalayam temple at Gundepudi village in Mahabubabad district. The police arrested three of a burglary gang and seized 12 panchaloha idols, all worth Rs 3 crore in the international market, a car and 3 mobile phones from the possession of the accused. 

According to Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat, the accused were identified as K Latchi Ram (31, an auto driver, Yadadri district), K Santosh (21, cab driver, Yadadri district) and V John (31, cab driver, Suryapet district). Main accused Latchi Ram went to Gundepudi village for darshan, on noticing panchaloha idols he hatched a plan to steal the ancient panchaloha idols and made recce with the assistance of K Santosh (house burglary offender) and V John. He along with Santosh proceeded to Gundepudi in John’s car and committed the theft during the last week of October. 

The incident came to light on October 28 when temple priest S V L Narasimhacharyulu found the idols missing from the temple. The Maripeda police registered a case under sections 457, 380 IPC and took up investigation. Locals believe that the idols belong to the Kakatiya era and the exact age of the idols is yet to be ascertained scientifically. As there was not enough security for the idols in the temple and CCTVs were not installed in the premises, the accused easily robbed the idols and escaped. 

The accused had no idea how to sell the valuable panchaloha idols in the market, so they cut the idols to melt them and collect gold. On credible information LB Nagar SOT sleuths arrested the three accused on Friday near Kothaguda X road under the limits of Abdullahpurmet police station limits and recovered the idols. 

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