Raghunath Temple theft case: Three suspects identified

North Gazette News/Shimla

Himachal Police on Friday identified three suspects in the sensational theft case at the 17thcentury old idols from Lord Raghunath Temple in Sultanpur in Kullu district.

The Additional Director General, Law and Order, Sanjay Kundu said that a gang of idol thieves belonging to some other district of Himachal Pradesh had been identified and raids were being conducted to apprehend them.

Kundu said that after analysing the CCTV footage of the Kullu town for December 8th and 9th, three youths had been identified as alleged suspects in the theft case. “The youths in their 30s appeared on three CCTV cameras, one at the Sarvari Bazar approach to bus stand main gate and two cameras at the Kullu bus stand,” he said.

Police officials are trying to identity of these three suspects and had urged the general public to come forward with any information on these youths.

A reward of Rs 10 lakh has also been announced by the police for providing clues about the robbers. The main idol of Lord Raghunath was found missing from the Lord Raghunath temple in Sultanpur in Kullu on Tuesday morning. The robbers entered the temple from the roof and took away the idols of Lord Raghunath and Hanuman, both made of ‘ashtadhatu’ (a composite of eight metals), a stone statue of Narsingh Shila (covered with gold), one silver Ganesh idol and a pair of Charan Paduka besides ornaments.
Raja Jagat Singh, the erstwhile ruler of Kullu, obtained the Lord Raghunath idol from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh and built the temple in the 17th century. Police called it one of the biggest heists in a religious place in the state.

The Kullu Dussehra, a centuries old festival, is associated with Lord Raghunath, the chief deity.