Kullu temples remain vulnerable to thefts

  • Dipender Manta, Hindustan Times, Kullu
  • Updated: Jun 04, 2015 19:11 IST

Despite repeated police advice to install closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) in temples of Kullu district, the kardars (caretakers) of deities have failed to pay heed to it.

Most temples in the district don't have a proper security system, as a result they are an easy target for robbers.

In December 2014, a daring theft at the temple of Lord Raghunath, the chief deity of Kullu, in Sultanpur locality here had shocked the entire state. Robbers had decamped with 5 antique idols, including the 16th century statue of Lord Raghunath, from the historical temple. Idols of Hanuman, Ganesha, Narsingh and Shaligram were also stolen. The idols were later recovered.

At that time, the then Director General of Police DS Manhas had directed his officers to take effective steps to prevent theft of idols and other precious ornaments of deities from temples across the state. All station house officers (SHOs) were told to keep in touch with the management committee of temples.

Several rounds of talks were held between police officers and caretakers of temples across the district. The caretakers were told to beef up the security at temple by installing surveillance cameras and deploying chowkidars to deter robbers.

However, police data reveals that only 15 temples in the district have installed CCTVs. Kullu has more than 400 deities, which live in village temples having valuable ornaments and antique idols.

According to locals, people have deep faith in their deities that are consulted before starting any auspicious work. Villagers believe that deiites have powers to protect themselves so they don't protection and security.

TC Mahant, secretary of Kardar Sangh, said: "We are planning to install CCTV cameras in temples across the district for which we have sought help of the state government. We want the government to bear 70% expenditure o fteh cost. The remaining cost will be borne by the temple committee concerned."

Kullu superintendent of police Surinder Verma said: "We have constantly telling the kardars to take adequate security measures, which can help prevent robberies."

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