Mumbai: A young priest, Harshal Shah (22), who was arrested by Kandivali police on February 16, for stealing the diamond crown of a deity from a diamond merchant’s puja room, has turned out to be a history-sheeter. During the investigation, police recovered a gold crown, chain and an idol from Shah’s house.
On February 3, Jignesh Parikh, a diamond trader, who has an office in Bandra-Kurla Complex, had called Shah at his Kandivali residence to perform a puja in his temple. Shah has conducted pujas and other ceremonies at the complainant’s residence in the last six months. However, Parikh alleged, Shah stole the diamond-embedded crown, worth Rs1.25 lakh, the idol of Lord Srinathji after conducting the puja and left the house.
Soon after the puja, Parikh’s wife was menstruating did not go to the puja room for four days. When she went to perform a puja, she saw the diamond-studded crown was missing. Suspecting Shah of having stolen the crown, Parikh approached Kandivli police and filed a complaint against him on February 6.
“Since Shah was not in town for a week, he was called to police station on February 15 and his residence was searched, where they found the diamond crown. Shah was arrested the next day and booked for theft,” said a sub-inspector, requesting confidentiality.
Further probe revealed Shah had stolen many gold and diamond valuables from other houses also. Shah had put away another gold crown, chain and an idol in a bank locker. Police have added relevant sections against Shah and have sought his further custody to identify the other victims.