ALONG WITH checking the whereabouts of at least 15 people, who were arrested in the last five years for committing thefts at religious places in the past, the Chandigarh Police have approached Delhi Police, Haryana Police, Himachal Police in the search of gang members reportedly involved in the series of thefts particularly in shrines.
A team of Chandigarh Police, which is investigating two recent burglaries at shrines in Sector 27, also visited Mahadev Shiv Mandir, Saketri, and obtained CCTV footage of suspects from the shrine management committee. Police sources said, “It is not easy for these thieves to dispose of huge gold and silver jewellery items along with five huge layers of silver, which they removed from around the shivlings. Before taking it to any jeweller, they will dismantle these ornaments. The weight of one of the silver umbrellas (chhattar), which was stolen from Sri Digamber Jain Mandir, Sector 27, is around 10 kg.”
A police officer said, “We have approached all neighbouring police authorities. Delhi has a specific market in Old Delhi, where stolen decorated jewellery items are sold at low rates. We also contacted Himachal Police, which is investigating a lot of cases of thefts in the historical temples across the state. Haryana Police, which is probing Mahadev Shiv Mandir, has also visited some places in Rajasthan but till now nothing fruitful has come out.”
Police personnel from Sector 11 police station, Sector 26 police station and Sector 19 police station, where five FIRs were registered pertaining to thefts in temples, are jointly investigating all these thefts. The investigation of these cases is being supervised by SSP Nilambri Vijay Jagdale.