Probe on into online pooja fraud

The cyber cell of the city police has started a comprehensive investigation to track the operators behind a private portal which illegally accepted online payments in the name of conducting pooja in various prominent temples under the Malabar and Cochin Devaswom Boards in Kerala.

The incident came to light when the administrators of the Malabar Devaswom Board approached the police seeking action against the website, which reportedly displayed the names of many prominent temples to attract the faithful.

“The incident has been taken up very seriously by the cyber cell as similar complaints have already been confirmed by prominent temples in other parts of the State,” said A.N. Neelakandan, Commissioner and Secretary of the Malabar Devaswom Board. He said the website was engaged in online fund collection after listing out some of the major temples without any official authorisation.

Administrators of the Cochin Devaswom Board have already confirmed that the names of nine prominent temples under their control had been included in the portal to collect payment for pooja. Effort is also on to check the details of people who made contributions without understanding the trickery.

Officers attached to the Kozhikode Cyberdome say the complaint is mainly against the unauthorised online fund collection by an unknown third party website. “Firstly, we wanted to check whether the amount received online for pooja was actually used for the purpose or not. It would be possible only after tracking some of the victims of the alleged fraud. Also, the website was found facilitating such religious services in many temples across the country,” they said.

In the wake of the latest incident, the Malabar Devaswom Board has asked the faithful to make online payment, if necessary, only through the official portals of temples.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2021 8:59:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/probe-on-into-online-pooja-fraud/article34580452.ece

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