Ranpur: Police Saturday arrested five members of a dacoit gang which was involved in a four-year-old temple robbery here in Nayagarh district.
The accused were identified as Suresh Lenka from Kodapitha village, Vinod Dalabehera from Jiapalli village under Fategarh police limits, Purna Moharana from Bhadikira village under Odagan police limits, Gouranga Pradhan from Jajangi Sahi, Balakrushna Patra from Kainthagadia under Nayagarh police limits.
The last three were behind bar over different cases. Gold and silver jewellery stolen from Maninag temple and two bikes were seized from them.
According to the case diary, five dacoits came to Ranpur September 1, 2012 to commit a robbery. When they failed to identify a place for the crime, they broke the door of Maninag temple and reportedly fled with money and jewellery.
The booty included a couple of silver and golden crowns, a seven-hooded snake and a necklace and silver eyes of the deity.
The incident came to the fore when the priest of the temple came in the wee hours following day. The temple committee lodged a complaint with Ranpur police.
Villagers staged a demonstration in front of the police station demanding immediate arrest of the dacoits.
Later, the case was handed over to Crime Branch. Though Crime Branch DSP SK Patnaik arrived at the spot and launched an investigation, it did not bear results.
Later, a team was formed under the supervision of the SP to arrest the miscreants. The team comprised Sarankul SDPO T Jagarao Reddy, Ranpur IIC Rashmi Ranjan Ptanaik, sub-inspector Jeevan Kumar Mishra and constable AA Khan.
The team arrived at Kodapitha village and arrested Suresh Lenka. During interrogation, Suresh confessed to have committed the crime. PNN