, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 7 – Robbers on Tuesday broke into two Hindu temples in Nairobi and stole god idols and other prayer items worth thousands of shillings.
The incidents occurred at the Swamibapa Hindu temple located off Parklands First Avenue and another near Stima Plaza in Ngara where robbers dismantled gold and silver-plated god idols.
“It is a big loss to us as the Hindu community. We treasure the idols so much because it is our heritage,” the temple’s Secretary Lalji Bhinji Sanghani said.
“The loss incurred in terms of our heritage and belief is too much to bear. Perhaps we may never recover it because we attached so much importance to them.”
The robbers dismantled the god idols “thinking it was pure Gold.”
“They were misled because there’s nothing. They were just gold coats on them. I even wonder where they are going to sell them,” he said.
“They are not worth what they thought. They must have thought they were billions or millions they are getting out of them,” he added as he showed this reporter the damage caused at the Temple located on Swamibapa road, off Parklands First Avenue.
Mr Sanghani placed the cost of the items stolen from the Swamibapa temple at between Sh80,000 and Sh90,000.
Those stolen from the temple at Ngara are estimated to cost about Sh200,000.
“We have already started installing a barbed electric fence around the temple to keep thugs away because we don’t want them to come and steal our god idols,” Mr Saghani said.
A night guard who was on duty when the incident occurred on Sunday night is still missing.
Police believe he may have been abducted or just disappeared to evade arrest.
“Who knows, may be he is an accomplice in this,” a senior police officer at Parklands police station said.
He said Scenes of Crimes personnel had dusted a gas cylinder the robbers left behind as part of the investigations.
The gas cylinder was left behind by the gangsters who are believed to have spent between two and three hours at the temple.
Police also recovered a receipt from a local supermarket showing that the gangsters had purchased a torch at 1 am.
“We will rely on the receipts to contact the supermarket because time is indicated and the CCTV there can show who bought the torch at that wee hour,” the source said.
Gigiri Divisional Police chief David Kerina said detectives will also retrieve CCTV clips from cameras at the temple to help identify the robbers.
“This alone is overwhelming evidence, it will help us a lot in getting these criminals,” he added.