Suryakant Jena

Bhadrak: Incidents of loot at temples continue to rise across Odisha leading to public resentment. Unidentified miscreants decamped with ornaments and valuables worth lakhs of rupees from two temples at different places in the State on Monday night.

In Bhadrak, some anti-socials barged into the Chandbali NAC Durga temple after breaking open the gate of the shrine and looted a silver crown weighing around 2 kg and a gold necklace weighing 10 grams of the presiding deity. The miscreants also robbed the chest (hundi) kept inside the temple.

President of the Durga Puja Committee Raghunath Sahu said cash worth nearly Rs 50,000 stashed inside the chest have been robbed.

The matter came to fore after the servitor of the temple witnessed the broken gate of the temple today morning when he came to conduct the morning rituals of the deity.

Immediately after getting the information, police reached the spot and launched a probe. A youth with previous crime record of looting temples in the area has been detained and investigation is underway, police said.

Similarly, a Kali temple situated in Olavar area under Rajkanika police limits in Kendrapara was also looted on Monday night.

Sources said miscreants dug out the iron gates of the temple and robbed various ornaments and valuables from the temple.

A special team of forensic officials and sniffer dogs inspected the spot to collect evidence in the incident. "A detailed investigation will reveal more details," Gobardhan Sahu, SI of Rajkanika Police Station said.

Expressing his concern over the incident, a local resident Subash Sahu said that theft incidents in temples are unfortunate as they hurt the sentiments of the people.

Several incidents of temple loot incidents in the State had made headlines over the last past two months. Recently, robbers stole 200 grams of gold jewellery and utensils worth lakhs of rupees from a Kali temple in Gurujang area in Khurda.

Prior to that burglars looted gold and silver ornaments from a temple at Sarkar pada village under Jambu Marine police limits in Kendrapara. Similarly, in a series of loot incidents, robbers raided three temples in Soro area of Balasore on November 17 and looted ornaments of the deities.

Nearly half a dozen of such cases of loot from several temples were reported during the first half of the year.