In a major operation, officers of Idol Wing on Tuesday arrested four persons in Keeranur, near Pudukottai and seized five antique panchaloha idols and a pedestal from them. The suspects were planning to sell the rare variety of idols for ₹ 20 crore to prospective customers.
The Additional-Director General of Police, Idol Wing CID, Abhay Kumar Singh, said, “It is a major catch. Following information, a special team of police personnel led by Additional Superintendent of Police Rajaraman arrested the gang and recovered the antique idols which are huge in size.”
Plainclothesmen deployed decoys who approached a suspect, Vellaisamy, a quarry owner. He offered to sell the idol for ₹ 6 crore.
After much negotiation, the deal was struck for ₹ 3.5 crore. He showed them the idol in his custody. Then, the police team apprehended him.
Based on his confession, the police arrested Aravindh, 24, of R.S.Mangalam; Mathiyazhagan, 30, of Thodaiyur and Kumar, 29, of Lalgudi. The suspects are operators of earthmoving machines in the area.
Inspector General of Police T. S. Anbu said, “Investigation revealed that they were planning to sell the panchaloha idols for ₹20 crore. Probe is on to identify the temple from where these idols were stolen.”
The list of idols seized includes: Somaskandar idol (51.7 kg); Parvathiamman (21. 3 kg); Sivakami amman (46.9 kg); Vinayagar (20.4 kg); Manickavasakar (26.7 kg) and a pedestal without a deity (8.7 kg). All the seized idols will be produced before a special court in Kumbakonam.