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Morning loot at Kocheli temple

Cuttack, Dec. 24: Thieves barged into the Kocheli temple at Kathagada Sahi here early this morning and fled with gold and silver ornaments worth over Rs 4 lakh.

They entered the temple by breaking open the door and decamped with 2.5kg of silver ornaments and 150 grams of gold ornaments.

They also stole the donation box, which contained cash worth over Rs 80,000.

“This is the fourth time that thieves have looted ornaments from this temple in the last two decades,” said temple committee member Rajkishore Sahu.

A group of local people raised alarm after finding the main gates of the temple open at 5.30 this morning and informed Sahu.

“There is no police patrolling during the night. Despite repeated demands, no steps have been taken for setting up a police outpost at Kathagada Sahi, even though an increasing number of anti-social activities are being reported from here,” said Rakesh Sahu, a local resident.

The residents also staged a road blockade in the morning to protest against the delay on part of the police to reach the spot of the crime.

However, senior police officers refuted the allegations saying that forensic experts and the dog squad had reached the temple on time.

This is the sixth incident of theft from a temple this year, which has raised questions on the efficacy of the night patrolling of the city cops.