Offering God a cut of stolen money may not be the best way to win divine favour, a gang of bank robbers recently found out.
The police arrested Hitesh Sharma, alias Vicky, one of six robbers who looted a State Bank of India branch on September 24, after a CCTV caught him offering Rs 3.5 lakh — or 10 per cent of the stolen amount — at a local Kali temple. This led to the arrest of the rest of the gang on October 11.
Four days after looting the bank, Vicky, in a spotless white kurta-pyjama complete with tilak (vermillion mark) on his forehead, drove to the temple with Rs 3.5 lakh in cash, and spent nearly 45 minutes slipping the currency notes, one by one, into the donation box.
The devotees, moved by the drawn-out gesture, raised slogans of Jai mata di (glory to the mother goddess). The priests also joined in and chanted mantras.
But Sharma wasn’t aware a closed circuit camera was rolling all the while, capturing his every action. That video footage is now in the possession of the police and will serve as evidence in court. “Goddess Kali, it seems, wasn't pleased by the largesse,” said one officer.
The temple management has offered to return the money. But Special Superintendent of Police Ranbir Singh Khatra, said: “We don’t want to get into that.”