Mandya, Sept 14: Five people have been arrested in connection with the murder of three temple priests in Mandya after a brief encounter in the wee hours of Monday, police said. "We have arrested five people while four others are absconding. In all, there are nine people involved in this case," Mandya Superintendent of Police Parashurama K told media persons.
He said eight of them hailed from Mandya and Ramanagara districts while one was from Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. The nine had brutally murdered three temple priests- Anand, Ganesh and Prakash- in their sleep inside the Arkeshwara Temple in Mandya town on the night of September 10. The priests were also the security guards of the temple, police sources said.
After killing them, the robbers had decamped with the currency notes in the donation box and did not take the coins. Police launched a massive manhunt for the accused and got information that some people were moving around in a suspicious manner at a bus stand in Maddur Taluk in Mandya district. When the police surrounded them and asked them to surrender, they tried to escape after attacking the policemen with sharp-edged weapons and injured an inspector, police sources said.
Police are verifying their involvement in other crimes. It is suspected that they had robbed another temple in the town.