A golden pot, placed atop the historic Ram Janki temple at Khaniyadhana near here in Madhya Pradesh and said to be worth nearly Rs 15 crore, has been stolen by unidentified thieves, police said today.
The incident came to light yesterday morning when Shailendra Singh Judeo, a local resident who is also Nagar Panchayat president, found the "kalash" (pot) installed atop the temple missing. He informed the police about it.
Soon after the police reached the spot along with a dog squad and fingerprint experts, Sub Divisional Officer of Police (SDOP), Pichore town, R P Mishra said.
Judeo, who belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Khaniyadhana, said the temple was constructed by his forefathers and is about 300 years old.
The pot weighed around 55 kg, he said.
This "kalash" and a similar one in Orchha's famous Ram Raja temple were installed simultaneously, Judeo said.
The SDOP, quoting the temple's patrons, said the golden pot was worth around Rs 15 crore.
A case has been registered and a search launched to nab the thieves, Mishra said.
The incident has caused anger among local residents who staged a protest outside the temple yesterday and closed shops. They warned to intensify their agitation if the thieves were not caught soon.
The temple was renovated sometime back by labourers brought from Nanded in Maharashtra and a police team has been sent there to question them, the SDOP added.
Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police Rajesh Hingankar has announced a reward of Rs 10,000 to anyone providing information about the thieves.