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About 300 km east of Mumbai, in the remote Indian village of Shani Shingnapur, crime is a concept so alien that villagers here have stopped guarding their houses, their properties and their valuables. Nobody locks their cars and motorbikes anymore. Shopkeepers leave cash in unlocked drawers overnight, and housewives keep jewelry in unlocked boxes, inside houses that have no doors —just a wooden door frame with a curtain drawn across to protect the privacy of the residents. Such is the faith the villagers have on their heavenly guardian, Lord Shani, who they believe protects them from thieves. The belief, that whoever steals anything from this place will incur the wrath of Lord Shani —a Hindu god known for his mad temper and penchant for revenge— and will have to pay dearly for their sins, has kept wrong doers away from Shingnapur for the last 300 years.

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A home in Shani Shinganapur, India, where nearly all residences have no doors. Photo credit: Shashank Bengali / Los Angeles Times

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