NEW DELHI: The east Delhi police arrested six people for allegedly looting the Siddhi Vinayak temple in Mayur Vihar. With their arrest, the police
claimed to have busted an interstate gang of robbers which targeted various temples and gurdwaras.
“We have found that the accused have been involved in more than 21 robberies in the past two years,” said Anand Mohan, DCP (East).
The accused have been identified as Kulwant Singh alias Raju, a resident of Gadarpur in Uttarakhand; Ranjeet Singh alias Bode, a resident of Hastinapur in Uttar Pradesh; Sharanjeet Singh alias Sonu also from Hastinapur; Sonu Singh, a resident of Dhampur in UP; Munna Lal and Ved Ram; both of whom are residents of Pooth Kalan in Delhi. The accused allegedly looted the east Delhi temple in the wee hours of March 17.
According to Rajesh Kumar, who did the investigations, the gang was headed by Kulwant and Ranjeet.”While Kulwant has nine cases registered against him in various police stations of Uttarakhand, Ranjeet has seven cases registered against him at Haryana and UP,” said Kumar.
The DCP said the gang used to loot various temples across Kotdwar, Mohali, Panchkula, Chandigarh, Meerut and Delhi and bring the booty to Delhi. “Kulwant, Ranjeet and Sharanjeet would actually carry out the operation, while Sonu provided his three-wheeler to ferry the loot. The four accused used to come to Delhi and meet Munna and Ved Ram to whom they would sell off their booty,” said Mohan.
The police have recovered more than 11 kg of silver, one silver crown belonging to the deity of Kotdwar, a chatra (umbrella) of the same deity and lock- breaking equipment.
According to the police, the gang’s modus operandi was simple.”The gang would visit a well-known temple or gurdwara hoping to get easy cash. They arrived in the morning and carried out a detailed recce. By evening, they would plan the strike after midnight if they were convinced that the security in the temple or gurdwara was lax. After the heist, they would return to Delhi and stay at Rohini, Kalyanpuri, Govindpuri, Jaitpur and Tilak Nagar,” Mohan added.
Sources in the police further claimed that the gang was planning more strikes at other temples like Balaji Temple at Churu (in Rajasthan), Sai Baba Mandir at Meerut and Neelam Mata Mandir at Mayur Vihar Phase-II, Delhi. Further investigations are on to nab the other accused.