Muslim thief caught stealing silver idol of goddess Durga from Mumbai temple
Posted by jagoindia on September 23, 2009
Idol thief flags a ride to prison
Vijay V Singh, TNN 23 September 2009
MUMBAI: Call it divine intervention. A man, who stole a silver idol of goddess Durga worth lakhs of rupees from a temple in Mumbai’s Jogeshwari (East), hired an autorickshaw as his getaway vehicle. Only the auto driver was a local, who had prayed at the same idol’s feet a hundred times. The driver drove the vehicle straight to a posse of policemen.
Qudir Shaikh carried out the theft at the Ambe-Mata temple in Gandhi Nagar on Friday evening. He removed his footwear outside the temple and went in like a devotee and then waited for some time till he was the only person inside (besides the half-blind 90-year-old temple priest). Shaikh then quietly picked up the 5-kg silver idol, covered it partially inside his clothes and slipped out.
But the idol proved too heavy to be lugged around and Shaikh was forced to hire an autorickshaw, whose driver proved to be his nemesis. Qadir told autorickshaw driver Harish Gupta that he would give him Rs 50 if he just took him out of the area quickly. Something about his passenger and his strange request, however, raised Gupta’s suspicion.
Meghwadi police station senior inspector Shivajirao Kolekar said: ‘‘The driver then saw Shaikh carrying an idol that looked familiar.’’ Gupta followed Shaikh’s directions, but did not stop till he saw some policemen on duty. The cops immediately arrested Shaikh and recovered the stolen idol from him. When the policemen reached Meghwadi police station along with Shaikh, they found several people of Hanuman Nagar were already there to file a complaint about the missing idol. They were upset as they were busy preparing for Durga Puja and said the theft could not have come at a worse time.
Additional commissioner (west) Amitabh Gupta praised Gupta for his swift action.