NATION

Thieves Break Into Temple, Steal Money

The break-in at the Sita Ram Mandir was discovered yesterday morning when a devotee went to offer prayers before going to work.
23 Jul 2019 15:09
Thieves Break Into Temple, Steal Money
Sita Ram Mandir committee President Niranjan Singh shows the damage to the temple in Calia Road, Navua on July 22, 2019. Photos: Ronald Kumar

Residents of Calia in Navua are concerned after a temple in their area was broken into and money stolen.

The break-in at the Sita Ram Mandir was discovered yesterday morning when a devotee went to offer prayers before going to work.

It is believed to have happened either on Sunday night or early yesterday morning.

According to the temple committee president Niranjan Singh, the devotee saw some coins lying outside the temple and then he saw the damaged money box.

“People have been making donations towards the temple and the money was kept in a box which was broken by the thieves,” he said.

“A $20 note and some old coins which are no longer in use were lying outside the temple so whoever broke into the temple took time to collect only the notes and coins which are still in circulation now.

“We had kept the money box in the temple since 2008 and whatever donations made by devotees were being kept for the temple’s capital projects.

“After whatever that has happened, we may need to put up grills on the temple’s windows now as entry was gained by removing the louvres. We had never thought of doing this but we just may have to now.”

Sita Ram Mandir committee President Niranjan Singh shows the damage to the temple in Calia Road, Navua on July 22, 2019.  Photos: Ronald Kumar

Sita Ram Mandir committee President Niranjan Singh shows the damage to the temple in Calia Road, Navua on July 22, 2019. Photos: Ronald Kumar

Mr Singh said Police attended to the report with dogs to help track down the suspects. He said no deities were damaged and it seems that whoever broke into the temple was after money only.

“When I was at the Navua Police Station, I was told by some officers that two other temples were also targeted in recent days and only money was stolen,” he said.

“There was no damage to the deities in those two temples and it seems that someone or some people are targeting temples in the Navua area only for money.

“We were beginning our preparations to celebrate the Hindu festival of Ganesh Utsav in September and this break-in is bit of a setback for us.”

Lekh Ram, a member of the temple committee, said while he was happy with the quick response from the Police yesterday morning, the Police should also patrol the Calia Road area at night.

Tevita Bainicagi, who lives near the temple, said the battery was stolen from his truck last week and his neighbour’s house was also stoned by someone or some people last night.

Police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said that as of yesterday, only the Calia incident had been reported to the Police.

Edited by Percy Kean

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