11 idols seized from artefact shop in Mamallapuram

Shopowner held for illegal possession; experts estimate value of idols at ₹30-₹40 cr.

Published - January 12, 2022 01:21 am IST - CHENNAI

An antique idol seized at a shop in Mamallapuram.

An antique idol seized at a shop in Mamallapuram.

The Idol Wing CID Police on Tuesday seized 11 idols, including eight antique ones, from an artefact shop in Mamallapuram. The police also arrested Javed Shah, a native of Srinagar in Kashmir, who was running the shop, on the charge of illegal possession.

Following a tip off on the possession of a rare antique idol of goddess Parvathi, the Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Idol Wing CID, K. Jayanth Murali, deputed a special team to conduct a search at Indian Cottage Emporium in Ideal Beach Resort, Mamallapuram, which was run by Javed Shah. The team conducted a search on the premises on December 24 and recovered several idols from the shop. On examination by experts, eight were found to be antiques. The shopowner did not possess any relevant certificates from authorities, the police said.

On Tuesday, Javed Shah was arrested by the Idol Wing police and the Parvati idol, an antique piece, was recovered from him. Shah and the idols were sent to the court. Experts estimated the value of idols at ₹30-₹40 crore. The seized idols, included Krishna playing flute, Narthana Vinayagar idol, and Ravana with 10 heads.

ADGP Mr. Murali said, "The accused involved in this was doing the business for last 20 years. We are probing the case from all angles. It looks like the Ravana idol originated from Sri Lanka. Further investigation is on to find out the temples from where the idols were stolen."

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