“God will not forgive those who loot houses… Temple thieves do not invite God’s wrath”
There are thieves who loot houses and offices. But I concentrate on temples and this is my 32nd year in the business. I steal from temples, which have enormous assets, and I have no guilt over it. Why should we make God the custodian of all the surplus wealth in the world? It is, in fact, against the wishes of God. The Almighty has no use for money and gold. So I take it away.
I am a devotee to the core, a cent percent believer in Hindu dharma. Before looting a temple, I pray to the presiding deity for ten minutes. Apart from money in the bhandar, I steal only gold ornaments.
My areas of activity are Kannur and Kasargod districts in Kerala and Coorg region in Karnataka. Most temples here have idols that are worth crores. But I have never tried to take them away. God must remain there in each temple, protecting locals and bestowing his blessings upon them. I am satisfied with the ornaments of the deity which God permits me to steal. What can God do with them? Ordinary mortals like me have different uses for them.
God will not forgive those who loot houses. The Almighty is concerned with the well-being of human beings. Temple thieves do not invite God’s wrath but those stealing from houses, especially of the poor, will have to pay a heavy price. You can only imagine the punishment in store for those who steal gold ornaments meant for marriages of poor girls.
It is the police who keep me in this profession. Now, I am in police custody for taking away ornaments from a temple in Kannur. After a few years of imprisonment, I will go back to the same profession. On several occasions in the past, I thought of stopping everything. But the police would still arrest me on fabricated cases. They need to arrest somebody when the original offender remains at large. If the police cooperate, I will stop targeting temples.
I have only one advice for those who loot temples: avoid small temples with poor finances and concentrate on those which have lots of income.
(Temple thief Sasi Pampali was arrested by the police from Peravoor in Kannur district of Kerala on 6 September 2009. We met him during a chance visit to the police station.)