Officials of Idol Wing CID have seized three antique sculptures from a handicrafts shop in Madurai as the shop owner did not possess documents to prove their ownership. Police said on receiving information about the alleged illegal possession of the antiquities, the Idol Wing CID officials obtained an order from the jurisdictional judicial magistrate to search the premises.
During the search, Jagur Ahmed Zarkar, the owner of the shop – Cottage Art Emporium – on the North Chithirai Street in Madurai, was present along with three others. A a stone carving figure of Shiva Paravathi, a stone figure of a woman and a stone head of Buddha were seized.
Police said the artefacts were seized as per legal requirements as the shop owner was not in possession of documents that authorise the legal custody of the sculptures, and could not establish their provenance. According to an expert, the sculptures belonged to the Pala dynasty and were probably stolen from a temple in Odisha or Andhra Pradesh.
The Idol Wing CID is investigating how the sculptures landed in Tamil Nadu.