Three houses, including the two-bedroom residence of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, were burgled at a gated colony in Kalkaji Tuesday. A replica of the Nobel Peace Prize that Satyarthi received in 2014 was among the articles the burglars took away. Police said they suspect professional thieves, but are also probing if “insiders” were involved. They have already questioned security guards and domestic helps who work in the society. The incident is suspected to have taken place in the intervening night of Monday-Tuesday. Police said thieves broke the locks of house numbers 56, 73 and 99 before entering. None of the owners were at home at the time.
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Satyarthi lives with his wife in house number 73, situated on the ground floor of a two-storey building, police said. “I had come to take my car, parked outside Satyarthi’s house, at 9 am, when I spotted the front door open. First I thought his domestic help might have come. But when I entered the house, I found the window grills uprooted. The bedroom had been ransacked and two lockers broken. A replica of the Nobel Peace Prize, the original certificate, and about a dozen other medals and certificates he received during his career had been stolen,” said Rakesh Sengar, project manager at Bachpan Bachao Andolan.
Sengar then made a PCR call. “As a police team was conducting the search, we were informed that two more houses in the locality had been burgled,” he said. Sengar said Satyarthi and his wife are in Panama for an event.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (southeast) Romil Baniya said they suspect the role of professional thieves as they used iron rods and hammers to break open the locks. Police said the other homes, too, had been completely ransacked. Baniya said the owners have been informed and will be back in Delhi soon. “What was stolen will be ascertained once they return,” said Baniya.
A Crime Branch team has also been called in. Fingerprints have been collected and CCTV footage is being scanned, police said.
In response to the burglary, Satyarthi said, “My Nobel Prize belongs to my country and its children. I appeal to the conscience of the people involved to understand its significance and not get distracted by its monetary value. A police probe has been initiated and I have complete faith in the authorities and the legal bodies of our country.”