ANDHRA PRADESH

Panchaloha idols seized

CHITTOOR, FEB. 26. The Chittoor Rural CI, Shankar, along with his staff, raided a place at Gudipala cross and recovered valuable panchaloha idols worth lakhs of rupees and arrested Shaik Shaffi (48) of Khadar Meeran Street, Chittoor, and Shaik Ayub (31) of Punganuron Wednesday while they were trying to dispose them off, said M.V. Ramachandra Raju, Superintendent of Police.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, he said that on interrogation, Shaffi said that these idols were found in a house at Khadar Meeran Street, Chittoor, while digging. He, along with Shaik Ayub, were planning to sell these idols to businessmen in Chennai through a broker. The broker, who promised to come to that place, had failed to turn up.

On a tip off, the Chittoor rural CI and his team raided the place and seized panchaloha idols of Lord Venkateswara and his concerts Sridevi and Bhudevi and a small set of idols with Nagapani cover. These Pancha Loha idols were the very precious and of archaeological importance in the international market. The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mucapu Rao, was present in the conference.