Phulbani: After a brief lull, miscreants have again started targeting temples in Odisha. This time, unidentified miscreants decamped with gold ornaments and cash from the donation box of two temples at Baliguda in Kandhamal district on Friday night.
As per reports, several valuables including cash have been stolen from Jagannath temple and Dakshina Kali temple last night.
Masked thieves entered the Jagannath temple and looted cash from the donation box. The entire act of loot of valuables has been captured in the CCTV camera installed on the temple premises.
Similarly, gold ornaments from Dakshina Kali temple were also reportedly stolen by thieves.
The theft of cash and ornaments came to light on Saturday morning when both the temples were reopened by the priests of respective religious institutions.
Local police has begun an investigation into the twin theft incidents. The entire CCTV camera footage will be examined for clues, said a senior police official requesting anonymity.
It is pertinent to mention here that a non-profit organisation INTACH had recently expressed concern over rising cases of temple thefts in Odisha and illegal exports of idols.
The organisation’s state convener Amiya Bhusan Tripathy, who is also the former police DGP of Odisha, lamented that there is an absolute lack of awareness and gross apathy regarding the intrinsic value of antique idols that represent the rich cultural heritage of the State.
The prevailing laws intended to prevent idol thefts and burglary are inherently ineffective and a holistic national heritage protection policy and the system should be put in place, he said.