Chain snatchers stalk Kerala temple

Chain snatchers stalk Kerala temple

Chain snatchers stalk Kerala temple

Three women devotees coming to the temple, now feted as one of the world’s richest religious places, found to their dismay in the last two days th­at they had lost their gold cha­ins worth over 11 sovereig­ns while offering prayers at the temple.

Mingling deftly with the huge crowds thronging the temple,  the women snatchers have clearly exposed the chinks in the much-hyped security system with their daring snatching spree.

It was Suprabha of Kollam who lost her chain weighing 5.5 sovereigns first while offering prayers in front of the sanctum sanctorum in the morning. By noon, two more women—Kamalakshi Amma, 75,  and Mayadevi—also lost their chains weighing 3 sovereigns each while standing in a queue to get darshan of the lord just before the “Shiveli”.

The three–tier security cordon inside the temple comprises commandos, armed police and temple guards. Apart from them, mufti police attired in the traditional mundu and pattu and women cops in setti mundu also keep a close watch on the devotees.

The police say the chain snatchers seemed to have taken advantage of the absence of enough women police force at the site. They believe that the thefts were most likely the handiwork of women gypsies who melt into the crowd and relay their booty out without raising hackles.

Meanwhile, the discovery of centuries-old riches from the cellars has catapulted the temple to worldwide fame with a dozen foreign newspapers and TV channels flocking to its hallowed precincts. Journalists from Time, Newsweek, BBC, CNN, Washington Post, The Sunday Times, Chinese Central Television, etc all have made a beeline to the premises of the famed temple.

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