Mysuru: The ugly truth behind the dastardly Chamarajnagar temple prasada tragedy is finally out, with the police revealing on Wednesday that it was, as Deccan Chronicle reported, the junior pontiff of Saluru Matha, Immadi Mahadevaswamy (52) who instructed temple manager Madesh (46), his wife Ambika (35) and priest Doddaiah Thambadi (35) to mix poison in the 15 kg rice bath which was served as prasada on Friday last, killing 15 people.
Mahadevaswamy is the president of the temple trust, and was motivated by greed to allegedly take over the temple by making it look as if his rivals had poisoned the devotees.
The police arrested all four accused and produced them before the magistrate at Kollegal who remanded them to police custody.
Southern Range IGP Sharath Chandra said that acting on Mahadevaswamy's instructions, Ambika procured 500 ml of Monocrotophos, a deadly insecticide, from an agriculture officer. Doddaiah mixed the poison in the prasada ensuring the cooks were not around on the fateful day.
Chamarajnagar police who have cracked the temple prasada poisoning case, have concluded that it was on the instructions of the junior pontiff of Salur Matha, Immadi Mahadevaswamy (52), that temple manager Madesh (46), his wife Ambika (35) and Baragur based priest Doddaiah Thambadi (35) entered into a conspiracy to mix poison in the 15 kg rice bath which was served as prasada on Friday last. Mahadevaswamy also happens to be the president of the temple trust
As many as 15 people have died while 104 people are still under treatment after consuming the lethal prasada at Kuchchuguththi Maramma temple at Sulawadi in Chamarajnagar. The police have arrested all four accused and produced them before the magistrate at Kollegal who handed them over to police custody for four days.
Southern Range IGP Mr Sharath Chandra who revealed details of the sinister planning behind the horrendous episode, said that to ensure complete power over Kuchchuguththi Maramma temple trust, junior pontiff of Salur Math, Immadi Mahadevaswamy conceived the plan. Allegedly acting on his instructions, Ambika, wife of temple manager Madesh procured 500 ml of Monocrotophos, a deadly insecticide, from an agriculture officer who is her relative, on the pretext of using it for plants in her pots, eight to ten days in advance.
According to the police, it was based on the instructions of Ambika that Doddaiah mixed poison in the prasada. He was earlier removed from the post of priest at Nagara Kallu after he was caught with one kg of ganja and was in police custody for five days.
Explaining the sequence of events which led to the poisoning, the cops said priest Doddaiah entered the kitchen on Friday, the day when the foundation stone was laid for the temple gopura. One cook, Lokesh had gone to take a bath and Madesh sent the other two cooks, Eeranna and Puttaswamy away telling them to get the plates ready to serve food to the Salur Matha senior seer, Pattadaguruswamy who was invited for the function.
When the cooks expressed their doubts about the odd smell in the rice bath, Madesh pacified them saying they might have put in more masala. And when devotees who were served the prasada after the pooja, expressed the same view, he told them that the cooks might have put in more 'pachcha karpoora' (camphor), the police said.
According to the police, the temple functioned as a seva sangha till 2017 and Immadi Mahadevaswamy had complete control over the income. To regulate the usage of funds, the temple trust's Chinnappi, Shashi Bimba Neelakanta Shivachari swamy and others, registered the trust in 2017. Immadi Mahadevaswamy no longer enjoyed complete control over the funds as three people from the trust had to sign the cheque.
The feud continued when Chinnappi and others decided to develop the temple and build a gopura using the trust money, Immadi Mahadevaswamy got his own plan worth Rs 1.5 crores but Chinnappi and others preferred a plan worth Rs 75 lakh. Without consulting Immadi Mahadevaswamy, Chinnappi and the others finalised the Gopura plan and invited the senior pontiff of Salur Matha, Pattadaguruswamy and Immadi Mahadevaswamy too for the function.
"Enraged by this Immadi Mahadevaswamy allegedly decided to mix poison in the prasada so that Chinnappi and others would be sent to jail and he could enjoy all powers," explained Mr Sharat Chandra adding that the investigation will continue....