A man and his two sons have been arrested in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao district for defrauding people by claiming they unearthed holy idols in their fields following a dream.
The three of them, farmers by occupation, raised around Rs 30,000 from villagers after claiming they had unearthed idols of gods and goddesses in their fields. The money was raised to build a temple. However, the idols were actually purchased from an e-commerce website and were buried in the field to defraud people, according to a police investigation.
"A couple of days ago, the father and sons started telling villagers that they saw a devi in their dream, who told them that there are idols buried in their field. They dug up their field from where idols were found. They wanted to establish a temple there. Their objective was to make money because people would donate money seeing the idols," Bangarmau Circle Officer (CO) Pankaj Kumar Singh said, as per The Indian Express.
Pankaj Singh, circle officer Bangarmau, Unnao on the incident. pic.twitter.com/BCVrGbivI5— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) September 1, 2022
NDTV reported that initially, everything went as per the plan and people began to gather at the site and made offerings. However, later the police learnt of the "miracle" and informed archaeologists."
The police said they grew suspicious and started an investigation as the idols didn't look ancient but brand new," reported NDTV.
The investigation revealed that the accused, Ashok Kumar and his sons Ravi and Vijay, had purchased the idols for Rs 169 from Amazon. The delivery person who made the delivery was key to cracking the case.
NDTV reported, "They took a local, a delivery man of an online website, into custody, who revealed Ravi had ordered a set of idols for Rs 169. Ashok Kumar and his sons were arrested soon after."
The man who had delivered the order blew whistle on the elaborate plan to by the family to con gullible villagers. Police intervened and has taken three of the family in custody. pic.twitter.com/kcVMVlaTE4— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) September 1, 2022
It further quoted the police as saying that the accused admitted during interrogation that they had indeed bought the idols online and had buried them with the intention to get rich and famous. The police added they would take appropriate action against them.