As many as 20 idols were taken away on July 5 from a Jain basadi in Moodbidri

The police on Tuesday received in a parcel, sent through India Post, the idols that were stolen from a Jain basadi in Moodbidri in July.

The parcel containing 12 idols were sent by Speed Post addressed to Mangalore Police Commissioner Manish Kharbikar. “This is the first time that we have received stolen property in a parcel,” Mr. Kharbikar told presspersons here on Wednesday. The parcel was dispatched on November 2.

Devotees, Jain Math head and Minister of State for Fisheries and Youth Services Abhayachandra Jain had expressed the suspicion that a jeweller from Chhattisgarh was in possession of these idols.

Following the receipt of idols, Mr. Kharbikar called Jain Basadi representatives for identification. Charukeerti Bhattaraka Panditacharyavarya Swamiji from the Jain Math came to the Police Commissioner’s office around 8 p.m. “He has identified these idols as the ones that were missing. One of the idols has been damaged,” Mr. Kharbikar said and added that the idols received by him were more than the number of idols that were reported to have been stolen on July 5. Refusing to reveal either the name of the person or the place from where the parcel came, Mr. Kharbikar said, “The person has mentioned a place on the parcel but it was dispatched from a different place.” The police are collecting details to find out who sent the parcel. To whether the sender was any person related to four arrested in the case, Mr. Kharbikar said that it was all part of the investigation.

It was in the early hours of July 5 that 20 idols were stolen from the Siddantha Darshan block of Guru Basadi on the Jain Math premises. This led to the arrest of Ganshayam alias Santosh Das, his wife Diptimayee Mohanty, her father Digambar Mohanty and jeweller Rajaji alias Subash Sancheti from Odisha.

The police then recovered three idols intact and gold ingots done from five gold idols. On Tuesday, the police received 12 idols.

The police have filed charge-sheet against all the four accused persons under Sections 457 (house-breaking by night) and 380 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code. A supplementary statement will be filed in court about the recovered idols, Mr. Kharbikar said.

Expressing happiness over recovery of the idols, Charukeeti Bhattaraka Panditacharyavarya Swamiji said that the recovery happened because of the sustained efforts of the devotees from different faiths to trace the idols. “We knew where it was. We were also sure that the idols had not been sent abroad,” the swamiji said. He added that with the recovery of all the stolen idols, they will not press for a CBI inquiry in the matter.