Idol theft racket busted in Khurda, four arrested
Bhubaneswar: Police have busted an idol theft racket with the arrest of four members of a gang and seized nine idols, four ingots, three mobile phones, an air bag and an Aadhaar card from their possession. The accused were identified as Mukesh Chandra Meena (44), Kailash Meena (34), Chhutan (32) and Manoj Kumar Meena (30). All the accused are from Rajasthan.
Nine criminal cases are pending against Manoj, seven cases against Mukesh, six cases against Kailash and four cases against Chhutan.
Police sources said the accused posed themselves as labourers engaged in mounting electric poles. On the pretext of doing pole work, they visited different places to get themselves familiarised with the locations, looked out for the temples without security and with a motive to steal idols. The gang used to steal idols made of stone, metals and alloy.
On the intervening night of December 21-22, they stole 22 idols from the famous Daksha Prajapathi temple under Banpur police station of Khurda district. A police team, led by Balugaon SDPO, while investigating the case, arrested Kailash Meena on Friday near Barunei temple in Khurda and later three others were arrested. Investigation is on to arrest the other accused involved in the case and recover other idols, police sources said.