Thieves loot donation box, temple bells from Sootea’s Hanuman Mandir


GUWAHATI: Rise in thefts at places of religious worship has reached alarming proportion in Assam. Places of religious worship have become easy targets due to lack of security.

Right from famous temples like Ugratara in Guwahati to numerous namghars and temples across Assam, thieves are having a field day. Temples are sensitive places and the administration is not doing much say the common public.

Last night thieves broke the lock and took away cash, valuables and other religious items from the Koreni Hanuman temple, Sootea. The area comes under the Biswanath district administration.

“This is a place of worship built by the public. We feel socially insecure after the theft. We request the administration to look into the matter,” said a local resident.

The public came to know about the theft after the pujari opened the temple for morning rituals.

“The pujari came to know about the theft in the morning and alerted everyone. We then reached here and took stock of the situation,” said a villager.

The thieves have taken away all the cash from the donation box and left only the coins. “We (the temple committee) open the donation box every two months. Last time, we had calculated around Rs. 60,000. We believe that there was around Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 in cash. Our main worry is the ritual items that they have taken away. These items were being sourced from South India. Without the items it will be difficult for us to perform all the rituals. They have even taken away the four temple bells, two of them were large. We request the administration to quickly find the items and catch the thieves,” said a temple committee member.

The local people of Koreni, Sootea are deeply saddened by this temple break.

“This is sad news for us. Theft in a place of worship results in bad environment. The blame game is what spoils everything. On the other hand, the administration has not been able to find out anything nor apprehend anyone. Thefts have occurred in Nalbari, Malagaon and this time, it’s our turn. People have lost faith,” said a Koreni resident.