Human hair worth Rs 25 lakh stolen from AP temple
Miscreants stole as many as seven bags of tonsured human hair worth Rs 25 lakh from Mallikarjuna Swamy temple at Srisailam in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.
The entire episode was captured on the CCTV cameras.
Three young men, all wearing masks, broke open the window rods late Thursday night and gained entry into the ‘kalyana katta’ where pilgrims are called to fulfill the promise of tonsure. They then broke open one ‘hundi’ (donation box) and emptied it of the hair. They tried the same with the second hundi but gave up halfway through, the police told Indian Express.
The police suspect that the thieves had taken away the bags in auto. Srisailam is among the Dwadasa (12) Jyotirlangas.
After the burglary, the hair contractor, hailing from Tamil Nadu, visited Srisailam on Friday evening and formally lodged a complaint with the police, Deputy Superintendent of Police Supraja told IE.
Meanwhile, Kurnool district superintendent of police Ake Ravi Krishna told Bangalore Mirror, “We are verifying if temple insiders (staff) are involved in the theft. We are hopeful of bringing the culprits to book shortly”.
This is the fifth such human hair theft case reported in AP and Telangana.
In February, Rs-8 lakh worth human hair kept ready for auction at Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam in Visakhapatnam was stolen.
Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams, too, get a considerable amount of revenue from hair auction once two months. In May and June alone, the Tirupati temple earned Rs 15.34 crore revenue from human hair e-auction. The hairs are graded by size, colour and quality.
Devotees tonsure their heads and offer hair to the Lord as a custom in fulfilment of their wishes. The temple authorities conduct an annual auction and award a contract to the highest bidder. The contractor concerned collects the hair and stores it in hundis before moving it out in bulk for sale. The hair fetches a handsome price in the national and international markets.