Chennai, June 26:  In Tamil Nadu’s Thiruporur, a Siva lingam made of maragatham (Emerald) from a 400-year-old temple was stolen by unidentified men on Friday night. This Sivalingam was valued at over Rs 2 crore. The men stole it in the darkness of the new moon clubbed with heavy rains and power cut. This shocking incident happened at Swayambulingeswara temple in Illaloor located on Thiruporur-Guduvancherry road. As reported by Deccan Chronicle, the police said that the idol was the man deity till 10 years ago. However, during Kumbhabhishekam, new stone deity was installed, a decade ago. After this, the new Siva lingam was kept aside along with other parivaramoorthigal.

As per DC, a devotee recognised the importance of this Lingam, a year back and told the temple authorities that it was a very valuable idol. After that, the number of people visiting the temple kept on increasing just to worship this maragatha Lingam. The police said, “It looks like the popularity of the idol had also attracted criminals to the temple and two weeks back a gang on bikes tried to break open the gates of the temple and the villagers had to chase them away. They had come on two bikes. The gang had to leave behind one motorcycle and escaped on the other one. The bike was handed over to the police. The investigators found that the particular bike had a fake registration number.”

This incident led to the residents to group together so that they can have a neighbourhood patrolling team that can take care of this Swayambulingeswara temple. This will be done by them on a rotation basis. A man name Mohan was leading the team on Friday night. As it was raining heavily and there was a power cut, the team decided to call of patrolling at 11 pm. However, when Mohan reached the temple around 5.30 am on Saturday to switch off the lights, it got a shock when he saw the emerald lingam was stolen, informs the police. They took this complaint from priest Ganesan. Police informed that this Siva lingam, which is one-and-half-foot tall was removed from the base using a chemical solution.