Two held for keeping stolen antique idols

Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: A real estate agent and his partner have been arrested by the Crime Branch of the Delhi police for allegedly being in possession of two stolen antique idols.

The Special Operations Squad of the Crime Branch received a tip-off on Monday that two young men were trying to sell stolen idols at a Community Centre in New Friends Colony. A constable was sent as a decoy and a Rs.80-lakh deal was struck for the two idols, an antique metal idol of Lord Mahavira and a stone sculpture of “Dwarpal” from a Shiva temple. The duo agreed to come to Ashram Chowk in the evening to deliver the idols.

A trap was laid and the two, later identified as Nepal Singh (30) and Suresh (20), were arrested. The two idols were allegedly seized from their possession. The metal idol of Mahavira dates back to the 14th Century A.D. and the stone sculpture belongs to 9th Century A.D.

During interrogation, the accused purportedly told the police that two men, Gurdeep and Rajesh, had lured them into the illegal business.

According to the Archaeological Survey of India, the idols are covered under the provisions of the Antiquity and Art Treasures Act, 1972.