Inter-state temple idol, ornaments thieves gang busted, was active for 10 years

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Pune, February 12, 2016 – In a major detection, sleuths from Hinjawadi police station under Pune police commissionerate have busted a gang of thieves which has stolen God’s idols from various temples in Pune, other parts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka.

Till now 21 cases have been solved and ornaments worth Rs 3.9 lakhs have been recovered from their possession.

On February 5, police constable Ashish Botke from the detection branch of Hinjawadi police station received information that four men who are involved in sealing ornaments, idols from temples, would arrive near Balewadi stadium with stolen silver ornaments. Accordingly a team led by Assistant police inspector Hemant Patil swooped down around the stadium and nabbed the four identified as Deepak Kisan Pawar (37) of Wakad, Prakash Kisan Pawar (43) of Kalewadi, Mahendra Singh Shaitan Singh Rathod (39) of Kalewadi, Ravi Jatasingh Soni (22) of Thergaon, all residing in Pune.

“Based on information received from them, we arrested jeweller Rajkumar Soni, a native of Uttar Pradesh, who resided on Thergaon, on February 8. We have recovered ornaments stolen in the last six months from Ahmednagar, Palghar, Bhosari, Loni Kalbhor, Nashik in Maharashtra as well as Nippani in Karnataka,” said Senior Police Inspector Arun Waikar, in-charge of Hinjawadi police station.

Inter-state temple idol2Deputy commissioner of Police (DCP-Zone III) Dr Basavraj Teli, under whose jurisdiction Hinjawadi police station works, told Punekar News that the gang was active for about 10 years. “Investigations have revealed that they have striked at temples in Pune, Satara, Karad, Lonavala, Maner, Thane, Kolhapur, Dehuroad among others. They used to travel on bike, visit temple and then steal ornaments, idols, break them in smaller pieces before selling them,” DCP Basavraj added.

ACP (Chatushrungi division) Vaishali Jadhav said, “We hope to solve more cases in coming days. Investigations are going on.”

Investigation team includes police inspector (crime) Appasaheb Waghmale, inspector Vishwajit Khule, head constables Raju Kedari, Punaji Kirve, and Police Naik Vivek Gaikwad, Sachin Ugle, constables Atique Shaikh, Dnyaneshwar Mule, Satish Gaikwad and Nalin Yerunkar.