One among them is responsible for the Lal Darwaza temple robbery which sparked communal tensions
Four persons responsible for the recent spree of temple burglaries in city, including that of Lal Darwaza Simhavanhini Sri Mahankali temple which sparked communal tensions, were reportedly caught by the police on Friday.
Among the persons detained by the police was Ghouse, an alleged property offender from the old city arrested by police earlier in different cases.
Sources said that Ghouse masterminded and executed burglaries of different temples in Hyderabad in the past couple of months. He is being interrogated.
Though thieves struck first at Hanuman temple in Uppuguda on October 5, the Mahankali temple burglary at Lal Darwaza attracted wide attention with locals staging protests. The robbery assumed communal tinge as some raised suspicions of offenders deliberately targeting the temple pointing out desecration of the idol inside.
Even as the police were racking up their brains about the identity of the offenders, thieves struck at another temple in Chatrinaka.
Initially, investigators suspected the involvement the notorious temple offender Sahu from Orissa.
But this was ruled out as Sahu was reportedly caught red-handed while breaking into a shop at Uppal a day before the Lal Darwaza incident. “He cannot be present at both the places simultaneously. Hence, he was not involved,” the police said.
Meanwhile, investigators stumbled upon clues in the form of fingerprints at the crime scenes, which matched with that of Ghouse.
A massive hunt was launched for him. Earlier, even the Goshamahal police investigating into a house burglary were on the look out for him and questioned Ghouse’s brother-in-law Shaik Mahboob.
As the hunt was on, Mahboob was found dead on November 3 on the railway track near Uppuguda. His wife Qaseema Bee later alleged that her husband committee suicide due to police harassment.
Special teams constituted by the police continued efforts to track Ghouse and finally caught him on Friday night.
His interrogation, investigators believe, would unravel mystery behind several temple burglaries reported in and around the city.
“He and his accomplices may not be connected to all the temple offences committed in recent past but we suspect the gang was responsible for some of the sensational crimes including the Lal Darwaza burglary,” sources said.
The police officials, however, didn’t confirm detention or arrest of the gang.
Thieves made off with Rs. 2,000 after breaking the ‘hundi’ of Hanuman temple at Citizen Colony near Father Balaiahnagar in Alwal on Friday.