Mangalore, Jul 30: The mastermind behind the idol theft case of Moodbidri Basadi, Santhosh Das alias Ganashyam was brought to the district and produced before the judge on Monday July 29, according the sources.
The inter-state thief in connection to theft of 15 idols worth’s more than crores from Siddanta Mandir at Moodbidri, was arrested by Mangalore police with the help of Andhra Pradesh police. It says that during investigation, the thief tried to mislead the police but later he revealed the truth that he had kept a gas cutter (pipe wrench) in Koti Basadi, opposite to Siddanta Mandir and police found the cutter while searching the place. He was later produced before the judge and sent to 11 days’ police custody and taken to the spot of crime for further investigation.
Sources say that under the police custody complete information will be collected about the theft and it says that the arrested thief has admitted to his involvement in thefts at Kodyadka temple and jewellery thefts at Udupi and Karkala. ‘On July 6, thieves entered Siddanta Darshan Mandir by breaking the window with the help of the pipe wrench and then broke the shutter of the room where idols were kept, looted the idols and fled from the spot. Siddanth Mandir had high security and it had 8 CCTV cameras, security system with 3 thumb password and siren system. But police examined the footage from the CCTV, where thief had pulled down his mask till nose to breathe which helped the police prepare the sketch and arrest accused’.
New twist in the case:
The Basadi theft case has given new twist to the case and it says that influential political leaders are behind the theft case. There is a big network that sells ancient idols stolen by Santosh and police have received information that the theft was backed by an influential person from Chhattisgarh, who is close relative of a top politician, Sources said that.
By: Sathish Kapikad
‘Basadi kingpin tried to strike Kudroli’
Mangalore police gets 10-day custody of Santosh Das, the prime accused in the theft of 15 idols from Jain Basadi in Moodbidri; say he is involved in 38 cases.
The city police on Monday took custody of Santosh Das, the prime accused in the theft of 15 idols from Jain Basadi in Moodbidri, for ten days. He was arrested in Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday.
The police produced Das before the local magistrate on Monday after bringing him to the city in a flight from Visakhapatnam. He will be taken to Chattisgarh for recovery of seven idols. In a raid held on July 13, the Mangalore police had recovered three idols from the house of Das’s father-in-law Digambar Mohanty in Bhubaneswar. They had also recovered gold ingots of 1 kg. Police said Das admitted to making these ingots by melting five idols in Raipur. Police said they were not trying to recover the remaining idols.
As many as 15 precious idols were stolen from the Siddhanta Darshan Block on the premises of Guru Basadi, which is one of the 18 Basadis of Jain Math in Moodbidri on July 5. The police with the assistance of Orissa police arrested Das’s wife Diptimayee Mohanty and her father Digambar Mohanthy. The Moodbidri Magistrate court has rejected the bail applications filed by the two
The police said they received information about Das moving in a bus from Bhubaneswar to Bangalore on July 27. They caught Das in Srikakulam.
The investigation so far has revealed Das’s alleged involvement in 14 theft cases in Andhra Pradesh in 2005, 14 thefts in Orissa between 1998 and 2004 and one theft case in Maharashtra. The police said he Das was allegedly involved in nine cases of theft in Karnataka post-2009. He reportedly stole 4 kg of silver from a jewellery shop in Karkala a few months ago. Das has attempted to steal articles from Gokarnanatheshwara Temple in Kudroli, the police said.
The police said Das gave them a slip three times between 2009 and now.