LUCKNOW: Having spent “sleepless” nights after decamping with more than a dozen idols from a temple, a gang of thieves returned their booty in UP’s Chitrakoot on Sunday. The thieves had stolen 16 idols from the Balaji Temple in Chitrakoot on May 9. While the police were investigating the matter, a sack — containing 14 idols and a letter — was found near the house of the temple’s head priest.
The letter made it clear why the thieves took the unusual step of returning their valuable booty. Ever since coming into possession of the idols, the thieves claimed, they were having nightmares, and out of fear they were returning them.
Rajiv Kumar Singh, SHO of Sadar Kotwali Karvi, said the idols could be worth crores of rupees. “Sixteen Ashtadhatu idols were stolen from the ancient Balaji Temple at Taraunha. Priest Mahant Rambalak had lodged an FIR against unknown thieves in this connection,” said the SHO, adding that 14 of the stolen idols were found stuffed in the sack at Manikpur Jawaharnagar. He confirmed that the priest found a letter beside the sack in which thieves had written that they were having nightmares and were returning the idols out of fear.
The official said the priest brought the idols to the police station and the officials were taking further action. The priest claimed that all the idols were about 300-years-old. Of the stolen idols, nine were made of Ashtadhatu (alloy), three of copper and four of brass. While half a dozen of them were of Radha-Krishna, another six were of Shaligram (a form of Lord Vishnu). The remaining four were of different deities, said the priest. He added that the idols were precious as all of them were adorned with pure silver.
The police have picked up four men over the theft.
Idols adorned with pure silver jewellery
Of the stolen idols, nine were made of Ashtadhatu (alloy), three of copper and four of brass. While half a dozen of them were of Radha-Krishna, another six were of Shaligram. The priest said the idols were precious as all of them were adorned with pure silver jewellery.