Theft from Lingaraj ‘hundi’: Prime accused nabbed

Bhubaneswar: After stealing money from the hundi (donation box) inside Lingaraj temple on multiple occasions in the past, the prime accused Basant Gaud has finally landed at his rightful place, i.e behind the bars.

According to reports, Basant had devised a unique trick to steal money from the donation box. He used to fix a paper bag inside the donation box and later decamp with the money collected in it.

Commissionerate Police nabbed Basant after reviewing the CCTV footage after the Lingaraj temple authorities lodged a complaint suspecting foul play.

Earlier, the temple authorities spotted some ‘paper bags’ inside the hundis after it was opened after Maha Shivratri. On March 16, the temple found that there was a substantial drop in the collections compared to the previous year.

“The accused used to fix paper bag inside the hundi using gum and other tricks. Later, he used to wait inside the temple like other devotees and decamp with the collected money,” said Police Commissioner, Satyajit Mohanty.

Mohanty further said that efforts are on to ascertain whether he was involved in stealing money from other temples.

“It was only a few days back that I started stealing money from the donation box,” claimed Basant.

Pradip Sahu, executive officer of Lingaraj Temple said, “After reviewing the CCTV camera footage, we spotted suspicious movement of a person near the donation box. But when it was opened, we found lot of paper bags and sensed some foul play.”