Bengaluru: Three person were killed inside a famous 12th century temple during a robbery bid, police said on Friday. While some versions said the three murdered men were priests of the temple, unconfimred accounts said one was a son of the temple priest and two were guards.
Police said the priests of the Arakeshwara temple were stabbed to death by the gang, who then decamped with currency notes from the 'hundi' (donation box). However, local versions said the victims' heads were crushed with boulders.
The three slain men were named as Anand, Ganesh and Prakash. They lived on the temple premises, and were asleep when the miscreants broke into the place of worship, police said.
Senior police officials, including the inspector-general of police, reached the spot and held enquiries.
Chief minister B S Yediyurappa expressed condolences to the families of the priests and announced an ex gratia payment of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.
Yediyurappa tewweted, "It is very disturbing to learn that the priests of the Arakeshwara temple in Mandya, Ganesh, Prakash and Anand have been murdered by the burglars."
"A compensation of Rs 5 lakh per family of slain temple priests will be given. Immediate legal action will be initiated against the guilty."