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Priest arrested for theft at Jain temple

    Pune (Maharashtra), February 26, 2012: A priest was arrested on Saturday for allegedly stealing ornaments worth Rs 4.8 lakh from the famous Jain temple at Khadki Bazaar temple on Friday night.

    The suspect, Arjunsinh Tirusinh alias Shivpratapsinh Rajput (22) of Gujarat, worked as a priest with the same temple before quitting his job a few months back.

    The police launched a probe after the theft of 8.5 kg silver ornaments of the idol from Munisurat Swami Bhagwan Jain temple came to light on Saturday morning.

    The identity of the suspect was not known then as investigations had revealed that a man had committed the theft by opening the temple door with a set of keys.

    Deputy commissioner of police (zone IV) Sanjay Jadhav said the police zeroed in on the former priest as investigations had revealed that the theft was committed by a person who was aware of the temple’s functioning.

    Rajput, who lives in the city with his brother, was picked up for questioning during which he spilled the beans.

    In an hour’s time, the police recovered the stolen ornaments from Rajput who had hidden it in his room near the temple. Later he was taken into custody.

    Rajput had quit the job as a priest after the death of his mother a month ago, but he later started staying with his brother. Rajput told the police that he committed the crime for quick money.

    Jadhav has directed temple officials to install a CCTV camera, appoint trained guards and to form a committee to take review of security and to keep ornaments in safe custody.

    The zone IV area covers eight police stations which has under its jurisdiction 298 temples including 61 at Khadki, 89 mosques, 41 churches and 13 statues. The police have issued guidelines to authorities of religious places to adopt security measures.

    The Khadki Cantonment court has sent the priest to magisterial custody for 15 days. -News Courtesy: Times of India

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