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Temple robbery in Sector 37: Police look for clues as security guards change statements

Did the robbers first assault the two guards on duty and then ransacked the temple or did they carry out the crime while the guards were sleeping and later assaulted one of them?

Written by Aneesha Sareen | Chandigarh |
January 8, 2009 12:13:33 am

Did the robbers first assault the two guards on duty and then ransacked the temple or did they carry out the crime while the guards were sleeping and later assaulted one of them?

The statements of the police and the injured security guards of the Sector 37 Sanatan Dharam Mandir vary. Police sources say the two guards were sleeping when the robbers struck on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. The robbery took around two hours to execute.

According to Janak Rana,SHO,Sector 39 police station,several discrepancies have been found in the statements of the two guards during interrogation. The SHO said the guards are frequently changing statements and preliminary investigation reveals that they were sleeping as the gang of robbers broke the locks and executed the crime.

“Investigation reveals that one of the guard woke up when the robbers were about to leave and was then assaulted,” Rana told Newsline. The SHO said that one of the guards,Tej Vikram,first told the police that he was held hostage at gunpoint by the robbers but backtracked later in front of the temple management committee and said he was overpowered by the robbers with a blanket and assaulted.

Vikram said he will not be able to identify the men who hit him and is also confused about the weapon he was hit with. He later told Newsline that he was hit with an iron rod. “His injuries are not as grave as can be caused by an iron rod,” Rana said. Vikram said the armed robbers scaled the temple wall,hit him with the rod and gagged the second guard.

“I was well on guard outside the temple when the robbers attacked suddenly. They had a pistol and all I remember was that I felt unconscious,” said Vikram. He,however,failed to recall how they came and was clueless about their identity.

A day after the theft,meanwhile,donations from the devotees poured in plenty and the temple management collected Rs 1.5 lakh to buy new crowns for the idols. A total of seven silver crowns were stolen and the temple management has already ordered for their replacement.

Members of the Hindu Parv Mahasabha,the association of city’s temple management,also met UT SSP S S Srivastava and urged for speedy investigation.

The police have roped in all the three cells — the Crime Branch,Special Crime Investigation Cell and the Operations Cell — in the investigation of the case. Separate teams have been formed to crack the biggest robbery of its type in the city.

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