Pune: Robbery at Shirur Jain Temple: Priest Attacked, Thieves Escape with Gold and Cash

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Shirur, 21st April 2024: The priest of the Shri Godiji Parshwanath Jain temple in Shirur’s market was bound and beaten by thieves wielding an iron rod. They then plundered the temple’s donation box, which was expected to contain around two lakh rupees, and snatched the gold mangalsutra adorning Goddess Padmavati’s neck. This incident occurred between 1:30 am and 2:00 am on Saturday (20th). Although the temple trustees estimated the theft to be worth around two lakh rupees, the police reported only thirty thousand rupees being stolen.


The Shree Godiji Parswanath Shwetambar Jain Mandir Trust, located in the cloth market area, employs a 72-year-old security guard named Popat Sonba Ghanwat from Ahmednagar. Based on the trust’s complaint, the Shirur police filed a case against three thieves.


According to the police, Ghanwat, the security guard, was stationed at the back of the temple when three intruders entered around 2 am. They assaulted him, demanding the temple keys. When Ghanwat revealed that he didn’t possess the keys, but the priest did, they attacked him with an iron plate and a screwdriver and then proceeded to break into the temple.


After forcing open the donation box and stealing its contents, the thieves targeted the temple’s Innermost chamber. They removed the gold mangalsutra from Goddess Padmavati’s neck and fled through the rear door. Ghanwat managed to free himself and promptly informed Ramesh Pujari, overseeing temple rituals, who then alerted the trustees and the police. CCTV footage from the temple and its surroundings has been seized for investigation.


The theft has left the community deeply disheartened, especially on the eve of Mahavir Jayanti. Satish Dhadival, President of the Shri Godiji Parswanath Shwetambar Jain Temple Trust, expressed frustration over the incident, emphasizing the need for immediate police action. MLA Ashok Pawar echoed similar sentiments, urging a swift investigation by contacting District Superintendent of Police Pankaj Deshmukh.


The police are scrutinizing CCTV footage to identify the culprits and have dispatched teams to pursue leads from suspicious records. Prashant Dhole, Sub Divisional Police Officer of Shirur, assured the public of diligent efforts to apprehend the perpetrators.