Two of the three persons arrested in the murder of priests of Sri Arakeshwara Swamy Temple in Mandya.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Murder of priests: three arrested in Maddur

Police open fire after trio tried to attack with machetes, stones



Three persons accused of murdering the priests of Sri Arakeshwara Swamy Temple in Mandya were arrested by the police in Maddur early on Monday morning after high drama.

The police was forced to open fire on the trio – Viji from Andhra Pradesh, Manja from Thoppanahalli village in Mandya and Gandhi from Arekal Doddi village in Mandya – when they tried to attack the police with machetes and stones at Sadolalu Gate in Maddur.

The accused, who received bullet injuries, were treated at Maddur Taluk Hospital and later admitted to Mandya District Hospital for further treatment. Police Sub-Inspector Sharat Kumar and constables Anil Kumar and Krishna Kumar, who also suffered injuries in the encounter, were provided medical treatment.

A police team led by Circle Inspector of Mandya Rural Police Station N.V. Mahesh, acting on a tip-off, cornered the accused at Sadolalu Gate and opened fire in the air and asked them to surrender. But the trio began raining stones on the police team and attacked them with machetes, claimed the police.

The police, eventually, opened fire at the accused when they were trying to flee and captured them.

The arrest comes three days after three priests of Sri Arakeshwara Swamy Temple in Guttalu on the outskirts of Mandya were found murdered early on Friday morning.

Ganesh, 55, Prakash, 58, and Anand, 40, were lying in a pool of blood on the temple premises while the hundi boxes were ransacked. The culprits, who had crushed the heads of the priests with boulders, had taken away the currency notes in the hundi boxes while leaving behind the coins.

Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who had announced a compensation of ₹5 lakh each to the families of the deceased, had called upon the police to arrest the culprits at the earliest.

Superintendent of Mandya district police Parashuram visited the spot of encounter on Monday and also went to the hospital in Maddur to inquire about the condition of the policemen and appreciate their act.

Minister in charge of Mandya district K. Narayana Gowda has also complimented the police for the swift action.