Alappuza: The investigation into the pendant missing case at Ambalappuzha Sreekrishna temple will be further delayed due to the disbanding of the Special Temple Anti-Theft Squad(STAT) following the rejig in the Crime Branch.
The STATS had begun the second phase of the probe in October following a High Court order secured by the Karma Samithi, a devotee outfit at the temple run by the Travancore Devaswom Board.
Circle Inspector R. Rajesh, who heads the present investigation team from Thiruvananthapuram, said that all the special units, including STATS under the Crime Branch, had been dissolved. So the case will be probed by a new team under the superintendent of police, Kochi unit.
Earlier, the team had arrested an Idukki native Viswanthan alias Kaliyappan in connection with the incident. He was living as a temple inmate for some time.
Mr R. Sankaran Nair, president, Karma Samithi, said that the STATS team had taken the statement of the temple employees.
The theft had happened in April last year and and the pendant was recovered from two donation boxes at the temple in May. As per the investigation team, the accused Viswanthan had dumped the ornament in the chest.
However, the chains of seven other pendants were missing from the strong room, as per a report of the devaswom vigilance....