Thief posing as priest was fond of air travel, religious trips

  • Gurpreet Chhina, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jun 10, 2016 10:29 IST
Illustration by Daljeet Kaur Sandhu

Meet Pujari. Pujari is a thief in the guise of a priest. Pujari is fond of flying to religious places, travelling on stolen money. He is a God-fearing man, and so after stealing enough money from Chandigarh and Panchkula, he went on religious trips to Shirdi, Amarnath, Ujjain, Chennai, Kailash Mansarovar and Vaishno Devi.

However, crime branch inspector Gurmukh Singh said Ravi alias Pujari stole Rs 35 lakh in cash from an ex-bureaucrat who resides in Sector 18. With this money, he opened a temple at his residence in Mahadev Colony, Ward No 2, Shivdi Kalan village near Surajpur, where he started practising as a priest. Not only that, Pujari also stole jewellery worth Rs 50 lakh, using it to construct a luxurious kothi. The police have filed an application in court for possession of the house.

Pujari’s wife told officials that the family was also surprised at his growing wealth. To her queries, Pujari would say he had gathered followers who truly believed in his advice. She further said he initially constructed the temple saying this and later told her that his devotees were constructing a lavish house for him because they wanted him to reside in it. He would come home at around 7pm from that house and say that he had to go perform a ‘puja’ somewhere.


Police said he had taken ‘training’ from Haridwar and Varanasi for a year to kickstart a career in astrology. They added he had travelled by luxury bus to those temples where it was not necessary to fly.

Read: Rs 38-lakh jewellery recovered from priest in Chandigarh

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