Seven high-value antique idols seized from handicrafts shop in Villupuram

A special team from the Idol Wing led by Deputy Superintendent of Police(DSP), M. Kathiravan conducted a search at a shop in Bommayarpalayam, near Puducherry

September 17, 2022 02:12 pm | Updated 03:59 pm IST - CHENNAI:

Seven idols including Lord Ardhanareeswarar, Goddess Sivagami, Lord Krishna, Buddha and Mullumailavaganam were seized from the Idol Wing police in Bommayarpalayam, near Puducherry. 

Seven idols including Lord Ardhanareeswarar, Goddess Sivagami, Lord Krishna, Buddha and Mullumailavaganam were seized from the Idol Wing police in Bommayarpalayam, near Puducherry.  | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The officers of Idol Wing CID Police have seized seven high value metal idols which are suspected to be antiques at a handicrafts shop in Bommayarpalayam, Villupuram district near Puducherry. 

The Idol Wing received information from a source that a shop dealing with handicrafts called Metal Crafts, located at Bommayarpalayam Kannika Garden, Villupuram district, was hoarding antique stolen metal idols of Tamilnadu for illegal sale.

A special team from the Idol Wing led by Deputy Superintendent of Police(DSP), M. Kathiravan conducted a search at the shop on September 17 after obtaining permission from the judicial magistrate. Director General of Police, Idol Wing CID K.Jayanth Murali supervised the search.

ASI document seized

Police said during the search at the shop belonging to K Ramachandran, 42, the owner of Metal Crafts, the officers seized a document that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) that had declared an idol of Ardhanareeswarar produced by them before the ASI to be a suspected antique in 2016. This document confirmed that the shop was peddling antiques, so when the team intensified the search, the antique idols which the owner was clandestinely concealing inside the shop came tumbling out. At the end of search, the officers seized seven idols — three different sizes of Ardhanareeswarar, bronze of goddess Sivagami,  Lord Krishna, Buddha and Mullumailavaganam. 

According to Mr. Kathiravan, the police team seized the idols after the shop owner failed to submit valid documents authorising the legal custody of antique idols.

“As the owner could not establish the provenance of the idols, we are investigating further on how and by whom and from where the idols got stolen by registering a case.” Mr. Kathiravan said.   

 The investigating officer produced the seized idols for remand before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kumbakonam, on Saturday. The wing will shortly produce the idols before the ASI for inspection, and a report will be forwarded to Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment for identifying and assigning the idols to the temples, said the officers.

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