A trustee of Natwarlalji Shyamlalji temple, also known as Haveli Mandir, in Kalupur of Ahmedabad filed a complaint against another trustee, his brother, for allegedly stealing 27 idols on Thursday.
The complaint lodged by Madhusudanlalji Goswami (41) says his brother Ranchhodlalji alias Abharan Vrajendrakumar Goswami (27) stole 27 idols on Tuesday after locking the two caretakers of the temple. The complainant and his father were not present on the temple premises at the time of the alleged theft.
“My younger brother locked two caretakers — Mahesh and Radheshyam — in their rooms and stole 27 idols from the temple. These idols can be dated 500 years back and their value cannot be compared in money. This incident has greatly hurt our community and we demand that the police bring back the idols,” said Madhusudanlalji Goswami in his complaint to the police.
Taking cognizance, police booked Rannchodlalji and four other persons under the Indian Penal Code sections 454, 457, 380 and 114 for trespass, trespass to commit offence, theft and act committed when abettor was present respectively.
Police said that the cause of theft was a dispute between the two brothers and that the accused has returned 13 out of the 27 idols on Friday morning.
“After the FIR was lodged, Rannchodlalji returned 13 idols which he took from the temple. Prima facie, it appears to be a dispute between the two brothers and we hope that the accused returns all the idols by Saturday,” said R G Desai, in charge, Kalupur police station.
Meanwhile, Ranchhodlalji moved the Gujarat High Court Friday seeking quashing of the FIR. Heard by the vacation bench on an urgent basis, Justice Umesh Trivedi issued a notice to Madhusudanlalji, returnable November 27 and directed that no coercive action shall be taken against any of the applicants.
While hearing the matter, the court observed, “Prima facie without entering into the merits and de-merits of the allegations levelled in the FIR, the dispute appears to be different than that mentioned in it (the FIR). Since sentiments of so many followers may be involved in the dispute alleged in the FIR, it is desirable that it is resolved at the earliest.”
Ranchhodlalji submitted in court that when he and Madhusudanlalji were residing in the premises jointly occupied by the first informant along with the parents, there cannot be any trespass in the premises, that too, criminal trespass as invoked in the FIR. He also submitted that 13 of the 27 idols have already been returned and the gesture is one of bonafide and does not amount to any offence as alleged in the FIR.
Ranchhodlalji also submitted a list of articles which are in his possession and not mentioned in the FIR, that he is ready to return to the temple as a bonafide gesture. The court took the list on its record.