Thieves return rare idols stolen from Hindu temple with a note saying they were sick of ‘having scary dreams’

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Representative: An artisan works on an idol of Hindu deity inside a workshop in India (AFP via Getty Images)
Representative: An artisan works on an idol of Hindu deity inside a workshop in India (AFP via Getty Images)

A gang of thieves in India returned more than a dozen idols they stole from a 300-year-old temple after claiming to have been haunted by nightmares since the theft.

The thieves had stolen 16 idols on 9 May from the Balaji Temple in the most populous Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. However, six days later, they returned 14 of the stolen statues in a sack near the house of the temple’s priest in Chitrakoot district, the police said.

“They also left behind a confession letter which said they were returning the idols because they were having scary dreams,” police inspector Rajiv Singh told AFP.

According to the police the thieves wrote: “We have not been able to sleep, eat and live peacefully. We are fed up with the scary dreams and are returning your valuables.”

The idols, estimated to worth in millions, have been identified by the priest and deposited in the police station.

Of the 16 stolen statues, one was made of ‘ashtadhatu’- an alloy of eight metals- weighing about 5kg. Three idols were made of copper and weighed 10 kg while four idols of brass weighed around 15 kg, said the complaint.

All the idols were adorned with silver ornaments, the priest told the police.

Authorities have lodged a case of theft against unidentified persons under section 380 of the Indian Penal Code and formed two teams to arrest the accused.

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