Representational imagePhoto by Anirudh on Unsplash

A gang of robbers had killed three men, presumably priests, in a 12th-century temple in Mandya and the local police officers were able to solve the murder and nab the killers in just 36 hours. In a statement on Twitter, the Mandya Police said they arrested the accused and also seized the stolen cash.

The Mandya district police has arrested five men in connection to the triple murder in the centuries-old Sri Arkeshwara Swamy Temple at Guttalu village of Mandya taluk on the night of Sept. 10. The cops had to open fire at the accused killers, who attacked at the cops with stones and knives. But they eventually surrendered.

Mandya is about 100 km southwest of Bengaluru, en route Mysuru.

The victims, identified as Anand, Ganesh and Prakash, who live in the temple premises, were asleep when the robbery was going down. The priests were stabbed to death by the burglars, who then stole the currency notes from the donation box and left behind the coins.

Accused arrested after violent shootout

Priest murder mystery solved
Priest murder mystery solved by Mandya PoliceTwitter

According to the police statement, the accused have been identified as Viji of Andhra Pradesh, Manja of Thoppanahalli village and Gandhi of Arekal Doddi. The three were traced after their accomplices Abhijit and Raghu were arrested on Sunday evening at Guttalu village, where the three priests of Sri Arkeshwara Swamy temple were murdered on the September 10-11 night and cash from donation boxes looted.

The district SP K Parashuram had formed five teams to solve the triple murder and temple robbery case. One of the teams, led by Maddur Rural Police Circle Inspector N.V. Mahesh and Mandya East Sub-Inspector Sharath Kumar got a tip-off about the hideout of the accused. The cops followed up on their lead and cornered the miscreants, forcing them to surrender. In the shootout, three accused were shot in the legs and were taken to the hospital for treatment.

SI Sharath Kumar and Policemen Anil Kumar and Krishna Kumar were also injured during the encounter.