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Hair, worth over Rs. 40 lakh, donated by devotees and stocked in a locked room at the famous Mariamman Temple in Irukkangudi was burgled on Thursday night.

The police said that around 70 bags of hair of various qualities kept in the room attached to the ‘tonsuring mandapam’ adjacent to the main temple were stolen by unidentified persons.

Based on a complaint lodged by Temple Executive Officer and Assistant Commissioner R. Hariharan, Irukkangudi police have registered a case of burglary.

The hair, donated by devotees as part of their vows, is collected at the tonsuring mandapam.

After separation of the hair by length and quality, it is stocked in a room under lock and key.

Though the hair centre was auctioned every year, the process could not be completed since 2014 for lack of interest among contractors, a temple source said. The minimum amount for tender-cum-auction for the hair centre was fixed at Rs. 1 crore and the last date for the submission of tender application and auction was fixed on July 4, 2016.

The hair was used for making wigs and cosmetics, sources said.

Police sources said that four security personnel were posted in the temple for night duty. However, they did not find anything amiss on Thursday night.

The crime came to light only on Friday morning.