Shimla: Nothing short of divine power helped to make a breakthrough in the daring Devta Sahib Bandra temple artifacts robbery case of Rohru, where valuables worth crores went missing and a senior guard was found murdered on 23 June as all investigation leads had turned cold.
“It was not that the investigation got to three robbers / murderers of Nepalese origin but a random questioning by the Delhi police that cracked the case,” Abhisek Dular, the district police superintendent here told Hill Post.
Narrating the chance breakthrough in the murder and robbery case, the police chief said that it was on 31 July, 2013 that the Delhi police detained three Nepalese, Dharmendra Shahi, Bharat Shahi and Ramesh moving about in suspect conditions around civil lines.
On being questioned by the police their suspect movements, one of the three blurted out the theft and murder incident of Rohru.
“Nothing short of Divine Power of the Devta appears to have cracked this case,” confessed Dular.
District police of Shimla was contacted who took custody of the accused persons and yesterday all the 8 antique idols, most of the gold and silver ornaments and other temple valuables were recovered from a forest, where they had been lying buried after the crime was committed.
Besides the three arrested, police suspect the involvement of two more people in the theft and murder case. A lookout notice has been put for getting hold of the other suspects.
The Nepalese, all in their early twenties, are said to have been employed by a local orchard owner for the ensuing apple harvest. The robbery was planned, while they posed as labourers in vally.
With the Devta commanding much reverence in the entire Rohru valley, police was suspecting the role of outsiders in the murderous crime.
Police claim that besides others, mobile phone of these Nepalese had been put on surveillance but the leads had turned cold as there were no suspects to question.
After murdering a 56 year temple guard and burying the temple treasure in the forest, the accused are said to have headed for Chandigarh, where the mobile phone SIM cards were destroyed and the electronic trail was lost.
It was only the chance detention by the Delhi police that helped to solve the case.
However, having tremendous faith in the Devta, devotees were sure from the start that all the stolen idols and other valuables would soon be recovered.