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Devout thief at Howrah temple

A man who offered prayers before and after stealing gold ornaments on an idol in a temple in Howrah's Salkia was caught after he was identified from footage recorded by security cameras.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 20.11.17
  •  

Salkia: A man who offered prayers before and after stealing gold ornaments on an idol in a temple in Howrah's Salkia was caught after he was identified from footage recorded by security cameras.

In the footage, the thief is seen offering a prayer before removing the Sitala idol's nose pin, tongue and crown, and then offering a prayer again before leaving the temple's inner chamber, said an officer of Malipanchghara police station, where a complaint was lodged.

According to the police, the theft happened in the 300-year-old temple around 9.45pm on Saturday.

The man in the footage was identified by the police as Sudip Chakraborty, in his mid-30s.

"Sudip entered the temple and went straight to the idol's chamber. He sat on the floor for a few minutes because there were others in the room," said a police officer.

"The footage shows Sudip standing up after the other devotees left the chamber and walking to the idol. He removed the gold ornaments one by one and then offered prayers again before leaving," the officer added.

The temple's priests noticed the theft shortly after, at the time of arati before closing the temple.

"Chakraborty had committed thefts in Salkia and adjoining areas earlier and had been arrested several times. He was out on bail. His particulars were available with police stations in the area," said the officer.

He was rounded up from a hideout in the area later at night. Police sources said Chakraborty told them that he had offered prayers before and after the theft to assuage his guilt.