Updated: July 10, 2015 2:51:04 am
A 35-year-old plumber comes home reeking of alcohol on Wednesday night wearing gold ornaments and passes out the moment he enters the house. Next morning, his father tries to inquire about the ornaments, but he mumbles as he gets drunk.
The father then heads to the nearest police station with the jewellery and it later transpires that his son is the suspect in the gold haul at Sharada Gajanan temple in Mandai.
The dramatic sequence of events did not end there. On Thursday afternoon, even as the police were looking for the son, who went missing from home after his father came to the police station, an inebriated man is caught trying to unscrew and steal a tap from the premises of Shivajinagar court. He is later identified as Tanaji Narayan Kundle of Kothrud, the auto rickshaw driver’s son and the man who stole the gold valuables from the temple. It has now come to light that he is an alcoholic and also addicted to marijuana.
Ornaments worth around Rs 45 to 50 lakh adorning the Ganesh idol in the Sharada Ganajan Temple were stolen by a man in the early hours of Wednesday. The incident came to light around 6 am the same day when the temple priest, Shreepad Kulkarni (53), found the glass wall of the temple broken. Vishrambaug police and other teams from Zone I of the Pune police had started probing the case.
Senior inspector Nitin Bhosale Patil of Kothrud police station said, “Narayan Kundle, who is a rickshaw driver, came to the police station on Thursday morning with gold ornaments. He said his son had brought them home and did not know where he had stolen them from. He also told us that he had locked his son up in a room. When our team visited their house located in a slum area in Kothrud, Tanaji had already fled. From the photograph his father gave, the images captured in security cameras of the temple and ornaments confirmed that Tanaji was the man who had stolen them. He does not have any crime history.”
As the police teams were still searching for him, a man was caught unscrewing a tap in a bid to steal it. He was detained as his face was similar to the sketch released by the police in the temple theft case. Deputy commissioner of police (Zone I) Tushar Doshi said, “When we caught him he was heavily drunk and also had some wounds on his head and other parts of body. We started questioning him but he was not making any sense. He will be put on arrest after a medical examination is conducted on him. Prima facie it seems that he stole things as he wanted money for alcohol and marijuana.”
Inspector Bhosale Patil said till now only the two necklaces that were brought by Tanaji’s father had been recovered and police teams were trying to get information from him about where he had kept the remaining valuables.
The police said he was married with four children. He has worked with a contractor at Shivajinagar court.
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