Thieves hoping to strike it rich, land up with only fake ornaments in Chandigarh
Two thieves took away deity ornaments worth Rs 20,000 from Chandigarh’s Sita Ram temple in Sector 19 on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday.
Interestingly, the damage was minimised by proactive priests, who after multiple cases of temple thefts in the tricity, had replaced the silver ornaments, worth Rs 2 lakh, with artificial ones a month ago.
“The thieves stole nine artificial chhattars and 10 mukuts from the idols. We got them made recently at an expense of around Rs 20,000, while the original silver ornaments, costing around Rs 2 lakh, were secured for use only at our annual function,” said Vijaynand, head priest of the temple, adding that the silver ornaments were safe.
Police said the two thieves entered the temple by simply breaking open the gate’s lock around 1:30am. After picking all ornaments that they could lay their hands on, they were fleeing when one of them hit a coin box, waking up the priest on night duty.
“There was no security guard, but one priest on the temple premises when the thieves struck. According to the priest on duty, one of the accused appeared to be 30 years old, while the other was in his mid-twenties. The hard disc of the CCTV camera is broken, so there is no surveillance footage,” Vijayand said.
Sector 19 station house officer (SHO) Ashwani Kumar said a case under Section 380 (theft) had been registered against the two unidentified men. “So far we haven’t got any lead in the case. But investigation is underway,” he added.