Idol theft: Madras HC expresses shock at missing CDs

The Madras High Court on Thursday expressed its shock at the absence of 16 case logs relating to cases of idol theft in Tamil Nadu.

“It is no coincidence that 41 CDs relating to the theft of idols or objects from temples have disappeared. It is shocking that 16 of the CDs have yet to be found or recovered. It is only in a few misplaced cases that some of the idols or other stolen property have been recovered, but in the majority of cases detailed in the report, the idols do not appear to have been recovered, ”the judge’s bench said. Chief Sanjib Banerjee and Judge PD Audikesavalu said.

The bench was placing further provisional orders on a PIL of ‘Elephant’ G Rajendran to find the missing CDs and idols and restore them to the affected temples.

What shocked the judges was a report jointly filed by the Additional Director General of Police and the Superintendent of Police of the Idol Wing, CID, where it was revealed that 41 sets of case logs had disappeared from police stations in various districts where complaints of theft of idols and objects from temples had been filed. Twenty-five of the missing CDs have been found and Idol Wing is pursuing the case. Sixteen CDs have yet to be located or recovered.

The court said authorities should be relentless in their pursuit of idols and stolen items and handle the issues with a higher degree of seriousness than currently appearing. Missing case logs should be retrieved and the case prosecuted.

If there is an Idol Wing of the CID, certain results must be shown by such a department to recover the idols or find out who may have been responsible for the theft of the idols and artifacts. It looks like the idol wing of the CID isn’t getting the kind of attention it deserves, the bench said.

The report does not reveal any degree of seriousness on the part of the investigative agency in recovering the stolen property or in bringing the culprits to justice, the judiciary said and released the case for a new hearing on Nov. 18.