Bengaluru: On Wednesday, Ramapura police took four people into custody, including Mahadevaswamy, the Temple trust president Junior Seer, for allegedly poisoning the prasad served at Maramma temple. The Prasad took the lives of 15 devotees at Sulavadi village in Karnataka Chamarajnagar district. Seven people, including the members of the temple trust committee, were named in the FIR filed under section 304 of the IPC.

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According to primary investigations, an internal rift between two of the temple factions have been suspected as the possible reason behind the crime. Sources have claimed the formation of two factions within the management committee.

The conflict initially kicked off because of an issue relating to the revenue-sharing model used at the temple. In the past few months,there has been manifold increase in the revenue of the temple. The Trust, in its account had a surplus of Rs 34 lakh. As per reports, the Junior Seer wanted to build a ‘gopuram’ (an ornate entrance tower at the entrance of a temple in Dravidian architecture), the estimated cost of which exceeded one crore.Allegedly Seer Mahadevaswamy had, given the contract to one of his relatives

December 14 was decided as the date for the foundation laying ceremony of the ‘gopuram’ after which, ‘prasadam’ was distributed to all the devotees present at the function. As per the investigation Seer Mahadevaswamy, along with Madesh and his wife had planned this crime  in order to ill repute the name to the second faction and reportedly offered supari to a man named Doddaiah for the job. However, Doddaiah got himself hospitalised to avoid any kind of suspicion.

Doddaiah, Madesh and his wife and cook Puttanaiah have been detained for interrogation purpose. The cook himself has been hospitalised in Mysuru and has lost his daughter Anitha in the incident.

The police have confirmed that with all the firm evidence the case will soon be cracked.

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