Birtamod, July 27: Kotihom Dham is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in eastern Nepal. It is the centre of faith for the entire region and people from all over the country and India visit the place to earn virtue. Yet, that did not stop thieves from entering the main temple on Monday night, breaking four donation boxes and stealing the cash offered by the devotees.
Locals believe that drug addicts could be behind the theft. Because it is the sacred month of Shrawan and the season of Bolbam, the donation boxes were filled with cash offered to the deities by the visiting pilgrims. The addicts could have seen this and stolen the money to fuel their addiction, the locals think.
Sub Inspector Man Bahadur Jimba of the Area Police Office of Surunga told The Rising Nepal that the police were investigating based on the footage captured by the temple’s CCTV cameras. The management committee was forced to install the cameras because the temple has been broken into on numerous previous occasions too. A thief who had previously stolen the donation boxes was later arrested and is currently in jail.
Priest Pushpa Khatiwada claimed that he was at the temple till 11.30 pm and thought that the thieves came after he left.
The temple is in the middle of a forest and is an easy target for thieves and robbers. It is believed that around Rs. 100,000 was stolen from the four boxes.