Priest used stolen money to pay for air journeys to religious places

CHANDIGARH:A priest arrested by the Chandigarh Police for two major thefts of cash and jewellery worth over Rs 1 crore, was fond of travelling by air to pilgrimages across the country.

ROBINSINGH@TRIBUNE.COM

Amit Sharma

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 9

A priest arrested by the Chandigarh Police for two major thefts of cash and jewellery worth over Rs 1 crore, was fond of travelling by air to pilgrimages across the country. The accused had also visited Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmadhu. 

Ravi of Kalka, alias Pujari, had single-handedly struck at houses in Sectors 36 and 18 in the city. While cash and jewellery worth around Rs 50 lakh was stolen from Sector 36, the accused had decamped with Rs 35 lakh cash from the house of a retired bureaucrat in Sector 18. 

Crime Branch sleuths revealed that during interrogation, the priest revealed that he was fond of visiting religious places. The accused used to travel by air with the stolen money.

“He travelled by air to various cities, including Chennai during his visit to Tirupati Balaji temple, Srinagar for Amarnath Yatra and Pune for visting Wageshwar Shiva temple,” said a police official.

The accused has revealed that he went for Kailash Mansrover Yatra apart from several other places. He used to travel by bus from Chandigarh and catch a flight from Delhi for the destination nearest to the religious place he wanted to visit.

Police officials said the priest had spent a large amount of money on the temple being constructed just next to his house.

Sources said the priest claimed that he had a wish to construct a huge temple, for which he used to commit thefts.

Rs 35 lakh stolen from the house in Sector 18 was spent on the construction of the 

temple and his house. Some 

of the stolen money was spent on his visits to religious places.

The priest also had a nickname, Aryan. 

The police are also suspecting the involvement of the priest’s sister, as some of the jewellery stolen from the house in Sector 36 was recovered by the Panchkula police from her house. 

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