Concern as six Durban Hindu temples robbed in one week
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Durban: Several temples in Durban have been hit by criminals looking for items to steal and sell.
Six temples, from areas including Isipingo, Phoenix, and some on the north coast, were targeted last week.
Brass items like chumbus, trays and lamps, murthies as well as speakers and amplifiers have been taken.
The break-ins have prompted the South African Hindu Maha Sabha (Sahms) – the body that governs Hindus in SA – to offer a R10 000 reward for any information relating to the crimes.
Ashwin Trikamjee, the Sahms president said it was sad that places of worship were being targeted. He said they had noticed there was a market for brass.
Trikamjee called on temples to beef up their security.
The Maha Sabha also made a call on social media platforms for scrap metal dealers who have been sold the artefacts and idols to return them to the organisation, so that they can be restored at the temples.
In the latest break-in, at the Andhra Vishnu Temple in Clare Estate last week, brass items and an amplifier were taken.
Tilly Reddy, who is close to the temple, said they were saddened by what happened.
“The temple is over 100 years old. You go to a temple for miracles and to pray, not to steal. We do not have anyone living on the property so the criminals gained access from a back window. We have put a call out asking for people who see brass items being sold to contact us.
“Another person also contacted me as they had a number of brass items that they wanted to donate to the temple and to other temples that were targeted.”
She said she hoped that the efforts by the Sabha to trace criminals who are stealing from temples was successful.
“Criminals need to be brought to book for their actions.”
If you have any information which leads to a recovery of the stolen Murthis and a successful criminal prosecution, email [email protected] or contact the organisation via their page on Facebook: South African Hindu Maha Sabha.