The Ramganj police have arrested one Shehzada Salim alias Dadda in connection with the theft of antique idols, jewellery and other valuables from a Shiv and Jain temple in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Salim, who is a ragpicker by profession, stole 7 idols made of Ashtadhatu (octal metal), more than 3 kg of silver ornaments and other valuables from the temple.
The incident came to light when the devotees reached the Jain temple located in the Ucha Kuan area of Haldiyon Ka Rasta, in the morning to offer prayers.
According to reports, the accused pulled out a screwdriver from an autorickshaw parked near the Jain temple and used it to break the locks of the temple at around 3 in the morning. After, stealing here, the accused went to the Shiv temple nearby and stole the idols and other valuables from there too.
The Jain temple authorities have said that one of the idols was almost 300 years old. Rajiv Tholiya, one of the temple administrators said that one of the stolen idols was found during excavation and placed in the temple in 2011.
A devotee named Rajendra Jain told TOI that the Jain temple, which is known locally as Ladi Bai temple is nearly a century old.
DCP (North) Paris Deshmukh said that the accused Shehzada Salim lives near Gulzar Colony located near the Galta Gate area. He said that he is a regular offender, who carries out a recce of the areas which he identifies to carry out the theft, on the pretext of picking up garbage.
ACP (Ramganj) Sunil Prasad Sharma informed that the accused has multiple cases registered in his name at Brahmpuri and Galta Gate police stations.
The police said that after they got the information about the theft on Sunday (08 August 2021), they checked the CCTV footage of the area to identify the accused. The police then shared the details of the accused with their informers, who in turn, informed than that Salim has been spotted on Delhi road. A police team left for Delhi road immediately and arrested the accused.
While the police already recovered 5 stolen idols from Shehzada Salim, efforts are on to recover the rest of the stolen items from the accused.
According to Dainik Bhaskar’s report, Additional DCP Sumit Gupta told that on Saturday (7 August 2021), the accused had entered the temple on the pretext of drinking water, when the idols caught his side and he concocted the plan to steal them.
Along with Salim, the police have also arrested one Rahul Sindhi, who bought the stolen idols from Salim.
According to ACP (Ramganj) Sunil Prasad Sharma, a similar theft was reported from another temple located in the same area. A bronze idol was stolen from this particular temple. Now, the police are trying to find out whether Shehzada Salim was involved in this theft too.
It is worth noting that even before this incident, in the last 2-3 months, there have been incidents of theft in major Jain temples in the city.