A manhunt for a jewelry thief ended with a twist when the thief turned himself in to police, confessed to the crime and offered a motive that put all of India's political class in the docket.
The Times of India reports that Kiran Kumar, 23, confessed that he stole the jewelry after years of searching for work and money to help a polio-stricken cousin pay for surgery. "Fed up" with grinding inequality, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
"We were desperate for money to fulfill our dream," he told police. "I tried masonry, plumbing and electric-wiring work, but only got poorer with every passing day."
Kumar, who supports four siblings and his mother on his meager earnings, said he and his fugitive accomplice chiseled through the brick wall of a jewelry store, threw guard dogs off of their scent with chili powder, and absconded with nearly $100,000 worth of gold necklaces, earrings, emeralds and pendants.
"If you are poor, no one cares about you. No one gave a damn about what I wanted to do in life," he said. "My cousin Anand needs money to undergo a surgery. We tried to get help, but no one cared."
Unable to afford a cab, Kumar and his accomplice walked home with the 15 kg bag of loot. Ten police units were searching the country when Kumar turned himself in at a local television station.
"Politicians are thieves who loot us for five years," he said, "and I became a thief just for a night to show the world the growing inequality in the country."
He added, "If given a chance, I can serve the society better than any politician."