KOCHI: It seems even the gods are not safe in the pandemic. However, it’s not the virus that is posing a threat to them. With people forced to stay indoors due to Covid, places of worship have become soft targets for burglars. Sreekumareshwara Subramanya temple near Ernakulam bus station was the latest target of a theft that occurred in the wee hours of Thursday.
“The theft came to light when the priest arrived for morning rituals. The doors of the office and the temple were found open and somewhere between Rs 25,000-Rs 30,000, which we had received as donations from devotees, was missing from the office almirah. The offering box had also been forced open and the money taken,” said temple secretary Suresh Babu V K.
“We had recently removed the money from the box to pay salaries to employees,” said Suresh, adding all money, except notes and coins of below Rs 5 denomination, was stolen.After the police were informed of the theft, dog squad and fingerprint experts were pressed into service. Ever since the Covid pandemic broke out and gatherings were discouraged, several theft cases have been reported from various places in the district, including temples, mosques and churches.
“Temples and other religious places, which used to be bustling with people, are devoid of any activity. The limited revenue also makes security unaffordable. We hope the police enhance patrolling to prevent such incidents,” said P Rajendra Prasad, president, welfare committee, Ernakulam Shiva Temple. A police officer said in most cases, the burglars targeted small temples that didn’t have good security. “Popular religious places have private security and CCTV cameras,” he pointed out.
Recently, a theft attempt had taken place at a temple in Vyttila under the Cochin Devaswom Board. “Such incidents are taking place as miscreants believe only a limited number of people visit religious places now. It will be good if the police pay special attention to the security of religious places,” said V Nandakumar, president of Cochin Devaswom Board.