Eight arrested for Jain temple robbery, watchman's murder | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Eight arrested for Jain temple robbery, watchman's murder

mumbai Updated: Sep 04, 2010 02:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Eleven days after robbers struck at a Jain temple at Borivli and killed one of the watchmen, the Crime Branch claim to arrested all eight accused.

The officials also recovered stolen idols and valuables worth more than Rs 4.5 lakh from the arrested accused.

Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (Crime) said four of the accused — Harun Sheikh (40), Ramesh Patil (40), Santosh Bhoir and Rajguru Singh— were arrested from Goregaon (West).

The rest, Suresh Gupta, Vinod Yadav, Michael Thapa and Mukesh Yadav, were rounded up from Navi Mumbai on Friday.

The eight accused will be produced in court on Saturday for their custodial remand, Roy added.

On August 22, at 3 am, robbers had broken into Chandraprabhu Nandeshwar Deep Digamvar Jain temple, near Bhagwati Hospital at Borivli.

When the two watchmen, Devi Singh and Rajesh Joshi, tried to thwart their attempt, the robbers attacked them with iron rods and sticks.

Singh was killed, while Joshi was critically injured.

Six panchdhatu (alloy of five metals) idols of Bhagwan Mahavir Jain, 22 silver umbrellas, crowns and other valuables were stolen from the temple.

Roy said one idol is yet to be traced.

Roy said an ambulance driver, identified only as Pappu, saw the fleeing robbers and tried to stop them. They attacked him too, but he managed to escape unhurt.

He gave their descriptions to the police later.

After investigation and through tip-offs from their informants, Unit XI of the Crime Branch identified three of the accused and rounded them up. The trio reportedly gave the names of the rest of the gang members.

Roy said the plan to rob the temple was originally hatched by Harun and Ramesh when they were in jail two years ago.

Mire Road resident Harun was convicted for human trafficking case, while Ramesh was arrested for stealing scrap.

“Five years ago, when the Jain temple was opened, devotees had showered rose petals and silver coins on it from a helicopter. This had caught Harun's attention, who presumed the temple stored riches,” Roy said, adding that a watchman who was earlier posted at the temple passed information about the articles and valuables kept inside the temple.

The other six, who were roped in by the duo, had recceed the temple a month before the robbery.