THE Khar police on Saturday arrested a 46-year-old priest in a theft case at well-known Bollywood singer Anuradha Paudwal’s flat in Khar. The incident was reported to police after gold ornaments from the Kalimata idol at her residence went missing. According to the police, the priest was supposed to perform puja on a daily basis, but he instead stole Rs 7 lakh worth of gold ornaments from the idol.

The Pujari has been identified as Vimlendru Mishra from Vile Parle. According to the police, the incident occurred on November 29, while Paudwal came home and found two sets of gold bangles worth Rs 3.50 lakh, two anklets worth R2 lakh and a necklace set worth R1.50 lakh missing from the Kalimata idol inside a small temple inside her home. She asked her staff about it but nobody seemed to know what had happened. She also dialled her assistant to check with him, but he too had no idea about the ornaments. After searching the whole house, she approached the Khar police station.

“Following the complaint, we started the investigation and initially we suspected the domestic help at her residence. We questioned several people who live in the flat but didn’t find anything. We later came to know about the priest who visited the home for daily rituals,” an officer said. The pujari was called to the police station and eventually confessed to his crime. He said he had kept all the jewellery with a friend,” the officer said. The gold is yet to be recovered.

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