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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

Two unidentified men booked for theft of two idols from Jain temple in Mumbai building

Residents of the housing society where the temple was located believe that two society guards may be complicit in the crime.

mumbai Updated: Jan 29, 2018 10:05 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times
One of the two idols stolen from the housing society temple in Andheri.
One of the two idols stolen from the housing society temple in Andheri.(HT file photo)

Two nearly 50-year-old idols of Jain deities Simandar Swami and Padmavati were stolen from a small temple located in a Jain residential society in Andheri (West) on Saturday early morning. CCTV footage revealed that the idols were stolen by two unidentified men. A case has been filed with the DN Nagar police, who are probing the case.

Past cases of temple idol thefts
  • October 2017: Four idols and a donation box worth Rs75,000 were stolen from a Jain temple in a housing society on Nariman Road, Vile Parle (East). There are no CCTV cameras installed in the temple and there were no eyewitnesses. A case of house break-in has been registered against the unidentified accused.
  • November, 2017: A bajot (silver table on which idols are placed) was stolen from a Jain temple near Hindustan Masjid in Agripada. CCTV footage revealed a man praying before he stole the table. The Agripada police arrested one Naresh Doshi, who claimed that he committed the theft to finance his children’s education.
  • February 2017: Two incidents of idol theft occurred under the jurisdiction of the Marine Drive police station. In the first case, diamond-studded gold strips stolen from a Jain temple. In the second case, three diamond-studded golden plates, worth Rs 75,000 each, placed on the forehead of three idols went missing. In both cases, CCTV cameras in the temple had been disabled before the committing the theft. A case was registered at Marine Drive Police station against an unidentified person.

Residents of Kumkum Society believe that two society guards, who were asleep when the crime took place, may be complicit in the crime. One of the guards reportedly woke up just before the second thief was escaping, but he managed to get away before the guard could take any action.

Sameer Mehta, 31, whose family looks after the temple, said, “The idols of Simandar Swami and Padmavat were over 50 years old and weighed 15kg and 5kg. The thieves probably stole them so they could sell it and make a quick buck, but they don’t realise that the idols hold sentimental value to us.”

“We suspect the guard was working hand-in-glove with the thieves as he did not do anything despite waking up,” said Mehta.

“We have registered a case of theft and further investigation is on,” said Parmeshwar Ganame, senior inspector of DN Nagar police station.

First Published: Jan 29, 2018 10:04 IST

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