Lone burglar breaks donation box, takes away cash
SRINAGAR: A lone burglar struck at Kashmir’s revered shrine of Dastgeer Sahib in Khanyar area of Srinagar and took away a large amount of cash during the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday.
Initial details caught on CCTV showed a man barging into the shrine of Hazrat Sheikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA) popularly known as Dastgeer sahib shrine. The incident occurred around 1 am, an insider at the shrine said.
The shrine’s Sajada Nisheen Syed Khalid Hussain Geelani confirmed to Kashmir Reader that the theft took place at the shrine during the night during which a large amount of cash stored in the donation/charity box inside the shrine was stolen.
“I can’t say anything about the amount stolen as the charity box wasn’t opened for the last few days. I can only say the amount was huge. This is extremely sad and the public- money has been looted like this. It’s not about the money. It is about emotions and feelings of devotees”, he said.
According to Geelani, the burglar not only took away the cash from the donation box but also barged into the sanctum sanctorum after breaking the lock of a door and took away some cash lying there.
He said that incident was a clear fallout of the lack of security in shrines of Kashmir. “The security of shrines was withdrawn last year due to security reasons. Since then, shrines have become vulnerable to thefts and other incidents”, Geelani added.
An insider at the shrine said that the burglar was well aware of the shrine and its security.
He barged from the window and took away cash and covered it with a piece of cloth meant for revered purposes inside the shrine.
A video of CCTV footage shared on social media showed a half-naked man with thick hair trying to break the lock of the donation box placed outside the shrine with a metal rod in vain. Later, he successfully managed to break the lock of the donation box fitted inside the shrine.
Donation or charity boxes are meant for taking offerings from the devotees visiting shrines. Almost across the Valley shrines, these boxes are locked.
Following the incident, Police said that a special investigation team has been formed by SDPO Khanyar to investigate the case.
“FIR has been registered in this case vide No, 66/2020 under relevant sections of law at Police Station Khanyar, and further investigation is going on,” it said.
Police Station Khanyar while seeking the help of the general public in identifying the thief involved in burglary requested the public especially those residing in the vicinity of the shrine to share any information regarding the identity of the suspected person.
Station House Officer(SHO) Khanyar, Parvaiz Ahmad told Kashmir Reader that they are hopeful of getting a breakthrough in the case soon.
“The burglary as seen in the CCTV footage seems to be done by a lone person. We’ve shared the footage on social media for the speedy identification of the suspect. A special team has been formed by SDPO, and efforts are on to nab the suspected involved in the theft,” he added.
The SHO said that it is the second incident of theft at the shrine since 2018. The previous case was solved after thieves were nabbed by police.