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Sunday, February 27, 2011

8 held for temple burglaries

Source: The Daily Star

The four youths, out of the eight, who were arrested by detectives yesterday in connection with the burglaries in Dhakeshwari Mandir and Sutrapur Kali Mandir in the city recently. Photo: STAR

The Detective Brach (DB) of police has arrested eight persons in the last five days in connection with thefts at the capital's Dhakeswari and Kali temples.

The detainees include alleged leader of the gang Garibullah alias Aslam, 24, Mohammad Monir, 25, Monir Hossain, 27, Mohammad Selim, 35, Shahid Jamal, 34, and Chandu, 30. The identities of the rest two could not be known immediately.

In the early hours of January 9, gold ornaments of around 200 tolas and Tk 4.5 lakh were stolen from Dhakeswari Temple, while over 100 tolas of gold ornaments were looted from Sutrapur Kali Temple on December 22 last year.

DB Inspector Ashraf Hossain, who conducted the drives, told The Daily Star that five of the arrestees Garibullah, Md Monir, Monir Hossain, Selim and Jamal were each placed on five days' remand yesterday.

According to the DB inspector the five placed on remand were directly involved in the thefts while the other three in dealing and selling the gold ornaments.

He said, “Garibullah admitted that led by him the gang stole from Dhakeswari and Kali temples and other temples in and around the capital. However, most of the looted ornaments were sold in the black market.”

On information that a gang of thieves who were sent to Narayanganj jail allegedly for looting a temple in Munshiganj continued robbing temples after obtaining bail, DB officials headed for Narayanganj and found two of the gang members Garibullah and Md Monir still in jail. The officials brought the two to the DB headquarters for interrogation, said a DMP press release.

Based on the information gleaned from the two, DB police recovered some gold ornaments and other stolen items from Munshiganj and Narayanganj and arrested Monir Hossain at Raipur of Laxmipur district, said the press release.

DB officials also recovered 11 broken locks of Dhakeswari Temple from the roof of a nearby workshop upon Garibullah's information.

Replying to a query, the DB inspector said, “The gang targeted temples as those are less secured and offer minimum risk.”

Nirnal Chatterjee, joint secretary of Mahanagar Sarbojanin Puja Committee, said they have heard about the arrest and the recovery.

He demanded fair investigation into the mysterious incidents of burglary at 23 temples across the country in the last two months.

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