30 Jan, 2007 TIMES NEWS NETWORK
PURI: Priests of the Jagannath temple have been under the scanner following their unruly behaviour in and outside the shrine. But the latest incident was the nadir in embarrassment to the priestly clan.
Police arrested Jagannath Khuntia, a 38-year-old priest, after catching him red-handed trying to snatch a gold necklace and earrings from a devotee inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.
Before Sunday's incident, police in the last six months, had received around 15 complaints of snatching and pick pocketing inside one of the country's most revered shrines.
Sources said at least four priests of the temple were arrested last year in connection with a number of snatching and pick-pocketing cases. "The priests should be punished severely," said Dasarathi Mohanty, a devotee.