Three arrested for ‘stealing’ panchaloha idols

March 19, 2016 12:00 am | Updated 05:47 am IST - WARANGAL:

The city police arrested three persons and seized seven precious panchaloha idols valued at Rs. 3 crore in the international market from them on Friday.

Police Commissioner G. Sudheer Babu said the police attached to the CCS took into custody one Tejavath Ramesh of Annampalli village of Mulug mandal, V. Rangaiah of Vadlakonda village of Parvathagiri mandal and one Molunguri Mahender of Venkatapur village in Warangal. The police recovered two Lord Rama, two Lakshmana, one Sita, one Venugopalaswamy and one Radha Devi idols, and one auto-rickshaw from them.

“These idols date back 400 years, and the Venugopalaswamy idol was stolen in 2010 from Parlapalli village in Mogullapalli mandal. The accused, Ramesh, was arrested earlier while stealing idols from Ramalayam in Tadvai mandal Damaravai village,” the Commissioner said.

The idols were hidden at the residence of Ramesh. On Friday, the accused were taking the idols to dispose them. At around 5.30 a.m., on a tip-off, the police intercepted them at Mulgu crossroads and arrested them.

Ramesh was arrested several times and he ganged up with jail inmates and began stealing idols expecting good returns for his work.

“We spoke to the priests of those temples where the idols were stolen. We will hand them over back to those temple after due procedures in court,” Mr. Babu said.

A CCS team went to Thatikonda village and raided the residence of Rangaiah, another accused, and recovered some of the idols.

The seven panchaloha idols were valued at

Rs. 3 crore in the international market

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