Burglary in Historical Kapaleeswar Temple in Chennai

published on April 18, 2008

Daring heist in Kapali temple


Chennai: In a shocking and sensational heist, the main hundi of the Mylai Kapaleeswarar temple was found broken open and an ‘unquantified’ amount of money — all offerings from devotees — looted Thursday morning.

The irreverence and insolence inherent in the crime has stunned the entire locality and a sense of sombre sadness hung around the temple like a heavy cloak.
The crime was big enough for the city police Commissioner, Nanchil Kumaran and other biggies of the force to arrive and take personal stock of the situation.

It is suspected that the thieves must have got into the temple premises late Wednesday evening under the guise of devotees and hidden themselves in the premises itself during the night, so that, they could execute the theft and flee easily.

The hundi, which was placed before the main sanctum sanctorum of Kapaleeswarar deity was found broken open and emptied of its contents Thursday morning.

According to police, the theft was first found by Subramanya Gurukkal, who opened the temple for the early morning poojas. He immediately informed the temple officials, who in turn alerted the police.

On receiving the information, Deputy Commissioner Maurya, Assistant Commissioner Isac Balraj and Inspector Sankaralingam visited the spot and conducted enquiries. The finger print experts, who arrived at the spot found eight impressions on the broken hundi.

As thousands of devotees visit the temple and make their offerings in terms of both cash and kind including jewels and ornaments, the exact value of the lost booty could not be ascertained, though it is estimated approximately some lakhs of rupees and jewels could be missing.

As the cameras, which have been strategically placed to cover such thefts were found to be out of order, the police are also investigating whether the cameras failed due to technical faults or whether any temple staff could be involved in the crime.

The daring theft in such a historic and famous temple at the heart of the city, has caused a lot of worry and concern in the minds of the devotees. Three separate teams have been formed under the direct supervision of DCP Maurya to nab the culprits.

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