Tirupati: Alipiri police late on Sunday night arrested a 40-year-old treasure hunter and six daily-wage earners on charges of illegally digging a tunnel in search of ancient treasure hidden in Seshachalam hillocks near BTR colony in Mangalam area of Tirupati.
Alipiri circle inspector B. Devendra Kumar told Deccan Chronicle that treasure hunter Manku Naidu, with the help of workers, had dug an 80-foot tunnel in the Seshachalam hillocks, located deep into the forest, about three kilometres from BTR Colony, in search of hidden treasure. Naidu had been digging the tunnel employing various workers for the past one year.
On Sunday, colony residents late on Sunday night noticed some strangers going towards the hillock. Suspecting their intentions, they alerted Alipiri police. “We immediately rushed to the spot and arrested the gang. We have also inspected the tunnel and collected evidence,” the inspector stated.
A senior police officer disclosed that a native of Anakapalle, Naidu had shifted his base to Tirupati in 2014. He used to paint for a living. He developed interest in hidden treasures after he came across a self-styled guru Ramaiah Swamy. The guru had shown Naidu inscriptions on copper plates and said digging 120 feet at a place in the hillocks near BTR colony would lead to some stone inscriptions and thereafter to two rooms containing treasures of gold.
Naidu believed in the guru’s story and they both began digging the tunnel with help from workers and using explosives a year ago. However, the guru died six months ago, but Naidu continued the treasure hunt and dug the tunnel up to 80 of the total 120 feet.
It is a matter of surprise how Naidu could hoodwink police and locals for almost a year despite involving workers in digging of the tunnel....