Haunted by nightmares, thieves return stolen idols from Balaji temple in Uttar Pradesh


Guwahati: In a bizarre turn of events, thieves who stole 16 precious ‘ashtadhatu’ idols worth several crores from an ancient Balaji temple at Taraunha in Uttar Pradesh on the night of 9 May, returned 14 of them to the priest of the temple claiming that they were having nightmares after committing the robbery.

Six days after stealing 16 ‘ashtadhatu’ (made up of eight metals) idols from the 300-year-old temple of Lord Balaji in Chitrakoot district, thieves came back to the temple to leave behind their catch and also left a confession letter said that they were haunted by nightmares ever since the theft. They also sought forgiveness, the police said.

On the night of 9 May, thieves stole the idols worth several crores from the temple after which the priest of the religious place, Mahant Rambalak Das lodged a complaint stating that 16 precious idols were stolen from the temple.

ToI report quoted Karvi Kotwali inspector Rajiv Singh said, the priest lodged a complaint stating that 16 idols, “including one made of ‘ashtadhatu’ and weighing around five kg, three idols of Lord Balaji made of copper and weighing around 10 kg, four idols of brass weighing around 15 kg, eight other idols and silver ornaments were stolen from the temple on May 9 night.”

Acting on the complaint, police registered an FIR against unidentified thieves under section 380 of IPC (theft).

“16 ashtadhatu idols worth several crores were stolen from the ancient Balaji temple at Taraunha on the night of 9 May. In this connection, Mahant Rambalak had lodged an FIR against unknown thieves,” news agency PTI quoted Station House Officer of Sadar Kotwali Karvi, Rajiv Kumar Singh, said.

“Out of 16 stolen idols, 14 were found mysteriously in a sack near the residence of Mahant Rambalak on Sunday,” he said, adding that the priest also found a letter with the sack in which thieves wrote that they were having scary dreams at night, so because of fear they are returning the idols.

With inputs from agencies