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Theft at Maharashtra temple, guard killed

Maharashtra,Crime/Disaster/Accident, Sat, 24 Mar 2012 IANS

Raigad (Maharashtra), March 24 (IANS) A security guard was killed as burglars made away with a 1.5 kg gold mask from a Lord Ganesh temple in Divegar village of Raigad district, around 175 km from Mumbai, police said.


'The incident happened in the wee hours of Saturday when some burglars entered the temple and hit its two security guards with iron rods,' an official from Divegar Police Station told IANS.



'Both guards suffered severe head injuries, and one guard, aged 75 years, succumbed to his injuries soon after. The thieves seemed to be smart enough not to break the lock of the safe where the mask is kept. They have instead cut out the safe from beneath and stolen the mask,' the official added.



Police have taken samples of the finger prints on the safe and are trying to find out the number of thieves and their identities.



According to residents of the village, the temple is important as Ganesha is the village deity of Divegar. The mask was first found buried in a bronze casket in the garden of a resident of the village.



The resident, Dharma Patil, had then donated it to the temple which was constructed by the villagers in 1968. The fame of the temple is entirely due to the gold mask.


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