Idol wing police to seek French assistance in probe

November 01, 2016 12:00 am | Updated December 02, 2016 12:42 pm IST - CHENNAI:

The Idol Wing CID of the Tamil Nadu Economic Offences Wing is planning to send a letter of request to authorities in France to facilitate the appearance of an Indian origin couple before the investigation officer, for storing stolen antique idols in their house.

Pushparajan, a close aide of Deenadayalan, an illegal antique idol dealer, was arrested last week. A team led by Pon Manickavel, IG, Idol Wing CID, raided a house in Colas Nagar, Puducherry, and seized 11 panchaloha idols worth several crores of rupees last Tuesday.

The searches were conducted in the house belonging to a French couple of Puducherry origin based on Pushparajan’s confession. Pushparajan is said to be running an art gallery in White Town. The police also arrested Ranjith Kumar, a carpenter and caretaker of the house in question.

After obtaining the letter of request, it will be sent to the couple for their appearance before the investigation officer here, sources added.

Idols of Lord Nataraja, Mahishasura Mardini, Somaskandar, Kalyanasundara, Lord Shiva, Parvathi and Amman were among the idols seized. The investigators said the idols would be produced before the court on Tuesday.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the seized idols were among those stolen from Somanathesvara and Cholesvara temples in Melapadi village, near Ranipet in Vellore district, 30 years ago.

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