He stole from temples in revenge as God didn’t help him when he was through a rough patch, the Madhya Pradesh police said on Thursday, quoting a temple thief’s reported confession.
Prem Singh, 40, was caught by the police on Wednesday in connection with a theft at Khairo Mata temple near Basa village in Damoh on May 26.
What shocked the police most was his admission that he had been stealing from temples for the past 25 years and had committed a number of such thefts but could remember only 20, said Damoh city superintendent of police Sanjeev Uika.
The police were surprised when Singh said he had never committed a theft at any other place other than temples.
Uika said Singh, who is a resident of Padrai village in Damoh, confessed that he was only five when his parents died and his parental land was usurped by his uncle.
Not only this, his relatives even refused all help and often ill-treated him.
Singh said he prayed to God for help but nothing changed and he resolved to take revenge on God by committing thefts at temples.
Singh told police that he committed his first theft at the age of 15 at a temple in Kesli village in Sagar district.
Uike said, “We are collecting temple theft records from Sagar and the neighbouring districts and his family background. We’re trying to ascertain his involvement in other temple thefts too.”
He said Singh had also admitted to have recently burgled Hanuman and Jain temples in Damoh.
The police have recovered six chatras, a gold mangal sutra of the goddess and Rs 300 cash from his possession in connection with Khairo Mata temple burglary.