Jain temple guards under scanner over burglary

Jain temple guards under scanner over burglary

Police examining their claims that they fell unconscious after dinner.

Senior police officers have expressed shock at how well-planned the Jain temple burglary was and at how well it was executed.

“It is clear to anyone who visits the spot that those who carried out the burglary had extensive knowledge of the temple complex — not only its geography but also its practices,” the local inspector said.

Kanti Lal, a trustee of the temple, has promised “full co-operation” with the police investigation. “We are interested in getting to the truth of the matter,” a devotee said. Police, however, are not ruling out the involvement of insiders, including the temple complex’s contingent of security guards.

According to a senior police officer, interrogation of the guards has yielded contradictory statements. All five of the guards — Nagveer Bahadur, who has been working at the temple since it was established 20 years ago, Lal Bahadur, employed there for at least a decade, and Jungveer Bahadur, Paramesh Bahadur and Prakash Bahadur, who has been working there for a few years — were found unconscious by the priest when he entered the temple. The guards, who all hail from Nepal, were treated at Victoria Hospital and have since regained conciousness.

“We had believed that they may have been sedated by some spray or chloroform. However, one of the security guards has stated that they fell unconscious after eating dinner on the terrace, suggesting their food had been contaminated, ” the officer added.
This food, however, is usually prepared by the security guards themselves in their rooms, within the temple complex.

Police investigation has now revealed that one of the guards had brought food prepared at his home elsewhere on Saturday night. Police believe the guards were rendered unconscious through some sedating agent in this food.

They are currently being subjected to a medical examination at Victoria Hospital to determine whether they were actually sedated and to determine the level of sedatives in their body. “There are chances they were only pretending to be unconscious,” the officer said.

Kamal Pant, Additional Commissioner (Law and Order), told reporters the guards would be questioned again once they recovered. 

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