Inter-state gang held for looting Jain temple in city

Inter-state gang held for looting Jain temple in city

Police have arrested members of an inter-state gang in connection with a theft at a temple in Bharathinagar and recovered Rs 22 lakh worth of gold and silver ornaments from them.

The arrested are Shravan Singh (25), Eshwarlal (26), Praveen Kumar (27), Hariji Ram (23), all from Rajasthan and Bharath Sharma (34) of Mumbai. The police are yet to arrest one more member identified as Jithendra of Mumbai.

The Viveknagar police, while interrogating a habitual offender, got a tip-off about the theft at a Jain temple two months ago. They shared the information with the Bharathinagar police and a special team was formed to probe the case.

The police were told that the theft was committed by a labourer hired to lay granite slabs at the temple. “Around 30 labourers have been working at the Munisuvrat Swami Jain temple, which is being renovated, over the past two months,” said Ramesh Chand Bohra, temple treasurer.

One of the workers, Shravan Singh, the prime suspect studied the temple in detail using his proximity with the temple authorities supervising his work. He also managed to get a set of duplicate keys of the temple, a few days before the theft on April 16. As Singh was getting married in the last week of April, he had planned to loot the temple, flee to his native, and start a new life. Singh roped in his friends, three from Rajasthan and two from Mumbai and fled to Mumbai to sell the booty.

The Bharathinagar police, who initially questioned Singh, had given him a clean chit. The temple authorities told the police that duplicate keys of the temple had gone missing and they were handed over to them by Singh. They did not suspect that Singh could have stolen the keys to make another set of them.

The police learnt that the gang had a dacoity case in Rajasthan and was out on bail, after which Singh came to Bengaluru to work as a labourer.
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