In a shocking incident, wedding-related jewellery kept in a bag by the bride’s family was stolen by two unidentified females during a nuptial ceremony in the Milagres church in the heart of the city on Sunday. The jewellery was to be used on the bride during the reception that was to follow.
It appeared to be a well-planned act. A gang might be working in the city, said a few who attended the wedding. Two females, one about 20 years old and a girl of about 12 years, sat in the third row in the church. They were well dressed and no one would suspect anything.
During the offering ceremony in between the nuptial Mass, members of both families moved over from their seats to collect the offerings from the passage of the church. The father of the bride reportedly placed the bag on the floor by the side of the bridal couple’s seats.
The woman and girl quietly picked the bag and walked out of the church. The choir members were said to be busy changing seats, otherwise they would have noticed it. The woman is said to have handed over the bag to a well-dressed young man who was waiting outside and he immediately sped away in an autorickshaw. Eyewitnesses said that although they saw it happening there was absolutely no scope for anyone to suspect when a well-dressed woman walked off with a bag.
But when the alarm was raised about the theft, some parishioners who were outside the church went in different directions like railway stations and bus stand to look for the duo. But there was no success.
While some people, as an afterthought, blamed the family of the bride and termed it as a case of negligence, it is also true that no one would have expected such an incident to happen inside a place of worship.
The bag contained all the jewellery the bride had to be adorned with including the all-auspicious mangalsutra. Unofficial reports put the value of the jewellery lost at over Rs 5 lakh.
Prospective offenders may attend functions well dressed. The bride’s side could think that they are the other family’s guests and vice versa.
In the past, thefts have taken place in marriage halls. But perhaps this is the first time that such a theft has taken place inside a prayer-house during the official ceremony.
One cannot but feel sad for the couple who will have to live with the terrible memories all along life.