Tamil Nadu

Efforts on to bring back idols: ADGP

Rich haul: Abhay Kumar Singh, Additional Director-General of Police, Idol Wing CID, with the idols seized during the raids on Monday.   | Photo Credit: M. KARUNAKARAN

Additional Director-General of Police (ADGP), Idol Wing CID, Abhay Kumar Singh on Monday said efforts are on to bring back antique idols of Tamil Nadu temples which have been traced to foreign countries by the special wing. Steps were being taken through Indian missions in the respective countries.

Following credible information on illegal export of stolen antiquities from the city, the officers of the special wing conducted a search at Selva Exports in Aravamudhan Garden, Kilpauk, on Monday. They seized two stone idols, a metal idol and a painting of Lord Krishna from inside wooden articles on the first floor of the premises.

The police registered a first information report and arrested B. Subramaniam, 58.

Mr. Singh told presspersons that since last year, the special wing had booked 17 cases and arrested 18 persons, besides seizing 40 stolen idols across the State and 74 idols from Jean Paul Rajarathinam in Puducherry.

Three idols of Sri Rama, Lakshmana and Sita, which originally belonged to Rajagopalaswami temple, Anandamangalam, were recovered from a museum in London and they were restored to the temple. Steps have been taken to bring back an idol of Hanuman traced to Singapore, he said.

Explaining the progress in a few cases, the ADGP said a case was registered at the Kadayam police station in connection with theft of five idols from Sri Narasimmanathar temple, Alwarkurichi, in 1985.

Two of those idols, namely Adhikara Nandhi and Kangala Nathar, were recovered through the Antiquities Trafficking Unit, New York. Soon, they would be brought back to the State, he said.

Similarly, six idols, which went missing from Sri Vishwanathar temple, Vikrapandiam, Thiruthuraipoondi taluk, and another six idols, which went missing from Veera Cholapuram temple, Kallakurichi district, were traced in the U.S. and efforts were on to bring them back, he said.

Mr. Singh said during the lockdown, Col. Matthew Bogdanos, Assistant District Attorney, New York, appeared through video conference before the special court in Kumbakonam in connection with the examination of a witness in a case registered in 2008.

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Printable version | Sep 29, 2021 5:30:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/efforts-on-to-bring-back-idols-adgp/article35551327.ece

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