Bantwal, July 8, 2016: Silver ornaments worth nearly Rs 6.14 lakhs and cash from two donation boxes were stolen from the ancient Punacha Mahishamardini Temple in Vittal on July 7.
The temple is nearly 8 centuries old. Sources said the thieves made their way into the temple by climbing the roof of the Annapoorneshwari shrine and then entering the temple precincts using a pole which was kept there. A vain attempt was also made by the thieves to enter the sanctum sanctorum.
The donation boxes at the entrance and in front of the sanctum sanctorum were also broken open and cash stolen. The stolen silver articles of the Goddess weighed 17.5 kgs. A dog squad and finger print experts have been pressed into service. Police teams led by Bantwal Circle Inspector Belliappa and Vittal SI Prakash Devadiga also inspected the CCTV footages to find any clue.
The Police Department has formed a special team to track down the burglars.