TAMIL NADU

DSP wanted in multi-crore idol theft suspended

The Madras High Court on Friday reserved its order on a plea moved by an advocate seeking transfer of a multi-crore idol theft case registered against two former officials of the Idol Wing CID to the CB-CID, Chennai.

When the plea moved by advocate Elephant G. Rajendran came up for hearing, Special Government Pleader M. Maharaja and Additional Public Prosecutor C. Emilias submitted that the Deputy Superintendent of police Kader Batcha, also a suspect in the case, has been placed under suspension with effect from June 29.

Producing a copy of the suspension order, counsel submitted that effective steps were being taken to arrest him and that the police would proceed with further investigation, including recovery of idols, in coordination with the HR & CE department. Recording the submissions, Justice R. Mahadevan reserved his orders.

‘Serious allegations’

According to the petitioner, on April 12, some unidentified persons left a three-page unsigned letter on the windshield of his car. The letter alleged serious idol theft allegations against officials of the Idol Wing.

“The person, who claimed to be an ex-policeman attached to the wing, alleged in the letter that the then inspector of the wing Mr. Khader Basha, in collusion with other officials, illegally sold ancient panchaloha idols of Hindu deities which were recovered from a smuggler in Aruppukottai, Virudhunagar,” the petitioner said.

The advocate, who claimed to have made a preliminary investigation into the allegations, said that his inquiry revealed that a case has been registered under Sections of 392 read with 397 of IPC, 331, 168, 506 (i) (ii), 348, 468 read with Section 5 of the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 on the file of Idol Wing, Chennai.

Case pending before CJM

“The idols seized and illegally sold were of Sivagamy Amman, and Siva and Parvathy. The case is now pending before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chennai, and the investigation is being done by an officer of the wing in the cadre of an Inspector,” he added.

The investigation is being done by an officer of the wing in the cadre of an InspectorPetitioner