Hyderabad: Top forest department officials have sought a report from Amrabad Tiger Reserve on Monday night’s treasure hunt inside the Shiva temple at a Chenchu tribal hamlet located within the forest.
It may be recalled that the department’s staff detained three persons on Tuesday when they were trying to leave the reserve forest after digging up and then plastering the temple floor under the deity’s idol at Bourapuram Chenchu Tanda.
It is learnt that the treasure-hunt gang had five members. However, two of them managed to make good their escape. According to Chenchu tribals, a small stone pillar that they prayed to inside the temple has been missing since Monday night.
It is believed the gang took it away and hid it somewhere in the forest, before driving along the highway in their vehicle towards Hyderabad. The vehicle was stopped at the forest check post near Mannanur village following a tip off from some tribals about the treasure hunt. One of the accused, Tirumalesh Naidu, claimed on Tuesday that a Forest Range Officer allowed his group into the forest at night. Anyone, other than Chenchu tribals who live in hamlets inside the reserve, is prohibited from entering the forest after 6 pm. Traffic between Mannanur village on the highway leading to Srisailam is prohibited between 9 pm and 6 am