Burglars struck yet again at a temple in Uppuguda in the Old City in the wee hours of Sunday and made away with around 10 gm gold, two kilo silver and Rs 10,000 cash. Sunday’s heist is the second to take place in Uppuguda within a month and the third in the Chatrinaka police station limits. Tension prevailed in Uppuguda when locals staged a protest at the temple demanding immediate action.
Police suspect the burglary to have happened between 2.15 am and 3.15 am. According to sources, a constable, who was on night duty, did not notice any unusual activity before 2.10 am. However, at 3.15 am, a police patrol team noticed that temple doors were ajar.
On inspection, they found that the locks on doors leading to the inner sanctorum were also broken. The Chatrinaka police, under whose jurisdiction the temple falls, was informed, who in turn alerted the temple committee.
Incidentally, the first burglary was reported at the Hanuman temple in Uppuguda on October 5. Burglars then struck at Mahankali temple in Lal Darwaza on October 10.
Uppuguda Mahankali Temple committee members claimed the thieves made way with a nose ring, mangalsutra, earrings and a silver crown, which were on the deity. The thieves also broke open a cupboard in the storeroom and made away with Rs 10,000 cash.
As soon as word spread about the incident, people started gathering. The committee members held a sit-in protest from 6 am and blamed police for their inability to stop temple burglaries. By 10 am, hundreds of people gathered at the spot.
The protestors wanted to take out a rally, but after an assurance from police, they relented. “Police assured us that in 48 hours they will nab the criminals. We then called off the protest rally to Lal Darwaza. If the police fail to keep their word, then we will take out the rally,” temple committee chairman Shankeriah Goud said.
Police sources said that the temple has no security measures. A constable, who was posted for night watch at the temple, was shifted out two days ago.
Though police have accepted a complaint from the temple committee, they are suspicious about the articles claimed to be missing.
“There was no visible disturbance in the sanctum sanctorum. Other valuables in the sanctum were left untouched. At first glance, it appears like the break-in was an amateur job and an attempt at mischief mongering,” an official said, adding that initial investigations rule out any connection between the Lal Darwaza burglary and Sunday’s incident. TOI