Thief returns money to temple donation box after conscience pricks him

What happened had surprised the temple authorities on Tuesday when they opened the donation box, as they frequently do to check the amount it contains
 
Thief returns money to temple donation box after conscience pricks him
Illustration By Hasan Zaidi

Amit Bishnoi

Chennai: It is the story of a special type of thief who stole money from a donation box in a Shiva temple at Lalapet village in Tamil Nadu and returned it after conscience pricked him. What happened had surprised the temple authorities on Tuesday when they opened the donation box, as they frequently do to check the amount it contains, they found 20 currency notes of Rs 500 denomination neatly tied together.

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A letter attached to the currency notes contained an apology. The person who stole the money said that he had appropriated the dough from the temple on the occasion of Poornima (full moon).   Such an occasion is believed to be auspicious and locals offer special prayers at the temple. As the thief expected that there would be a good amount of money in the donation box, he broke it and filched some. But, after that, he had faced numerous problems in his house and lost his mental peace, so he returned the money, the letter said.

Such a story is rarely heard these days, said a few villagers, but the temple authorities lodged a complaint at the Sipcot police station. Immediately after the incident, the temple was closed for three days, because the police began an investigation into the case. The police, however, could not lay their hands on the culprit till Thursday, though they were amused.   

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There happens to be no feeling of guilt and the thief had returned the money, because he feared that the police would catch hold of him, a senior police officer said, adding that the culprit might be a resident of an area near the temple.