Nagpur: A priest of a temple was murdered and his son injured seriously by burglars who had barged the temple for stealing cash and valuables in Defence area here on Friday night. The thieves, after the brutal crime, smashed two donation boxes and decamped with unspecified cash and other valuables. The ruffians also took away with them the monitor of CCTV camera installed in the temple in an attempt to destroy evidence and cover up their identification.
The deceased Jagan Kodape (75), resident of Wadi 8th Mile Area, was priest in Jai Maa Kali Mandir in Defence area. His injured son is Rakesh Kodape. According to police, the deceased priest originally hailed from Mohzari in Gadchiroli District. He was staying in Wadi area along with family comprising wife, three sons Rakesh, Mukesh and Vivek, all unmarried. The deceased Jagan Kodape was priest in Jai Maa Kali Mandir since the past 25 years. A year ago, Jagan had stopped working at the temple and was replaced by another priest. However, the management of the temple had recalled Jagan. He used to stay in a room adjacent to the temple. As usual his son Rakesh brought tiffin box for his father and then went to sleep at the room. Jagan was sleeping in verandah.
As both father and son were asleep, a group of burglars barged into the temple and were trying to break open locks of the two donation boxes to steal the cash and other valuables. Hearing the commotion, the priest woke up and resisted the attempt of burglars. However, the miscreants, probably four in numbers, assaulted the priest and killed him. In the meanwhile, cries of Jagan alerted Rakesh and he rushed to save his father. But he too was attacked and injured seriously. Assuming Rakesh dead, the burglars took away the valuables from the donation boxes and also the monitor of CCTV camera. The ghastly incident came to light when people started coming to temple in the morning next day. Shocked by the bloody scene, the people immediately alerted Wadi police. A team of cops reached the spot and sent body of Jagan to GMCH for autopsy.
Police have registered a case of murder and attempt to murder and launched a search to nab the offenders.