Armed robbers made off with 14 ashtadhatu idols from a temple under Ram Nagar police station in Etmadpur town and hacked the priest to death, police said today.

According to SSP Preetinder Singh, the incident occurred last night when 250-year-old Lal Mandir was targeted by the robbers.

He said the stolen idols were worth crores of rupees, adding that a hunt was launched to nab the culprits.

Local BJP leaders, along with villagers, staged a protest on the Agra-Aligarh road demanding prompt action in the case.

The priest, who had put up a resistance, was hacked to death with an axe by the robbers, the SSP said.