Last night, thieves and miscreants broke into the sacred Mausi Maa temple in Puri and stole almost Rs. 4,000 in cash, along with other valuables. As per reports, the thieves broke the locks of the donation box and took with the cash and other valuables. The Mausi Maa temple is located just 500 meters away from the Jagannath Temple and is crucial for rituals during the Ratha Yatra.
Locals have expressed anger and disappointment over the lack of adequate security measures at the temple.
“Several organisations have been complaining that CCTVs in the city are lying defunct. The Mausi Maa temple is deeply associated with the traditions of Jagannath temple. There has been a significant rise in the number of crimes and illegal narcotics trade in the town. The theft inside the temple is no less than a challenge for the cops,” said the local resident.
Gold, silver ornaments safe, only donation box looted: Puri SP
However, the Puri SP, Kanwar Vishal Singh said, “The robbers stole ₹4000 from the donation box. The initial report of ornaments and sarees being stolen from the temple is not true. We are investigating the incident.”
“We have detained some suspects and they are now being interrogated,” the Puri SP added.
The Chief Priest of the Mausi Maa temple did not know how much cash exactly the thieves took away, but he made it clear that the miscreants did not leave a single coin in the donation box.
“We averted huge losses as the looters were not able to rob the valuable gold and silver ornaments of the presiding deity. I generally remove them from the Goddess’ body before leaving for home every night so it’s a big relief,” the priest said.
The Mausi Maa temple is dedicated to Goddess Mausima, revered among the Odia people as Lord Jagannath’s ‘Mausi’ or aunt. Mausi Maa temple plays an important role during the Jagannath Puri Yath Ratra. On the day of Bahuda Jatra, the chariot of Lord Jagannath stops in front of Mausi Maa temple and here Lord Jagannath accepts ‘Poda Pitha’, his favourite rice cake from his aunt, Goddess Mausima.