Three young Nepalese nationals, who had allegedly murdered the guard of a centuries-old temple at Shimla in Himachal Pradesh and decamped with antique idols, have been arrested in North Delhi.

The police have seized all the 10 stolen idols, worth several crore in the international market, from the accused.

In the early hours of July 23, some robbers struck at Devta Saheb Bondra in Banchhuchh village of Shimla. They killed the watchman, Hiram Lal (62), and decamped with an ashtdhatu idol of Bondra Devta weighing around 6 kg, six small idols of other gods and goddesses and two brass idols of Lord Ganesha, besides other ornaments and valuables.

“One of our sources informed us that some Nepalese nationals putting up in Ghaziabad had recently visited Himachal Pradesh and were suspected to be involved in the murder-cum-robbery case. A team under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations Cell) Subhash Tandon was constituted and investigations taken up,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Sindhu Pillai.

“Acting on a specific tip-off that the suspects were likely to visit Majnu-ka-Tila on July 26, a team led by Mr. Tandon laid a trap and arrested the three. They were identified as Ramesh Shahi, Bharat and Dhirendra Shahi,” said the officer.