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Tura catholic cemetery targeted by robbers who steal several steel crosses

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Tura, May 14: Robbers have targeted the oldest Catholic cemetery at R C Road in Tura taking away several steel crosses that had been framed on tombs and graves by families for their loved ones who left this world.

The theft was uncovered after a visit by church authorities on Monday following reports from locals who spotted people carrying away crosses, either on foot or auto rickshaw, as recently as Sunday last.

Tura catholic cemetery targeted by robbers who steal several steel crosses

The robberies were reportedly carried out during the late afternoon and evening hours.

According to Cathedral Parish Priest Fr Arthur Marak, thieves first stole work site materials like Jampol, axe, spades and electrical wires that are kept inside a room in the cemetery for people to use for digging graves.

Soon after, children from the locality saw men taking away steel crosses in an auto rickshaw on Sunday afternoon and narrated the tale to the elders.

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Around the same time, another elder reportedly spotted a man carrying away three crosses through the stream below the cemetery and heading towards Balsrigittim locality taking advantage of a breach on the boundary wall that separated the cemetery from the locality.

Tura catholic cemetery targeted by robbers who steal several steel crosses

“On getting reports we undertook an inspection of the cemetery on Monday and saw crosses missing from some graves while at other places the crosses had been bent and damaged. In places where the cross was implanted on the soil it has been uprooted, at others where it was cemented the thieves had tried to cut it with some instrument, probably hacksaw blades, it appears. We have lodged an FIR with police and a team has visited the cemetery for investigation,” said Fr Arthur.

There is strong suspicion that small-time thieves and drug addicts may be involved in this graveyard theft to make easy money and fuel their hunger for substance by selling the stolen items to shops that buy discarded items like iron, steel and plastic containers.

Police recover 8 stolen crosses from scrap dealer

The police investigation has, in the meantime, made a quick breakthrough with 8 stolen crosses being seized from a scrap dealer in Chandmari locality of Tura.

Scrapyard at Chandmari where the cross were sold

Those operating the scrap collection store told Hub News that two young boys came in an auto rickshaw and sold them the crosses claiming that they had removed the old ones to install new ones.

“We paid Rs 2200 for the crosses” said the scrap dealer.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church graveyard committee is holding a crucial meeting on 19th of this month to discuss the robberies in the cemetery.

Read: CUET examination from May 15, Check the Tura Centre details here

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