Indian police said on Tuesday in New Delhi that 10 kilograms of human hair had been stolen from a famous Hindu temple in southern India. Police Officer, G-Ram Naik, said a group of thieves took 10 bags containing “special grade” hair worth 10,965 dollars (750,000 rupees) from the Simhachalam temple. Human hair is used to make wigs and hair extensions.

Police said the temple dedicated to an incarnation of Hindu god, Vishnu, was located near Visakhapatnam city in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Naik said that many of the thousands of pilgrims to the temple shaved off their hair and offered it to god, as a symbolic sacrifice of ego, adding that others offered their weight in coins or sugar to the temple.

“The practice of donating hair is common at temples in south India and temple managements usually auction the hair, making India among the leading exporters of human hair worldwide,’’ he said. A report said that the Tirupathi temple, also located in Andhra Pradesh and considered India’s richest temple, was among the biggest contributors of human hair.

Naik said the temple reportedly earned about 2 billion rupees from online auctions of human hair annually. He said that the police hoped to make arrests of men behind “the unusual crime soon`’. “It seems to be an insider job; the thieves knew the value and commercial use of the hair,’’ he said. (


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