Ujjain: Troubled over growing incidents of theft in the ongoing Simhastha (Kumbh) Mela here, police on Thursday launched a drive and busted a gang of thieves, arresting 86 people including those in garb of 'sadhus' and recovered large sum of money, valuables and mobile phones from their possession.
After enhancing vigil in the Mela area following a flurry of theft complaints including from Akhara Parishad, police first caught a man stealing a trouser of a devotee in the garb of a sadhu (saint), Additional SP, Aditya Pratap Singh said.
On his lead a team led by Deputy Inspector General (DIG), Rakesh Gupta raided a hideout near Lalpul area by arresting a gang of 86 persons including 20-25 women involved in thefts in the Mela area.
So far, police have recovered 4-5 lakh cash, valuables and nearly 55-50 mobile phones from their possession the source of which they are unable to explain. Counting of cash is still on, he said.
Majority of gang members are from Barabanki town in Uttar Pradesh, he said, adding it is suspected that nearly 50-60 more persons are part of the group.
The month-long Mela commenced from April 22 and will end on May 21 with the last Shahi Snan (Royal bath).