CHENNAI: An antique lingam made of greenstone and embedded in a decorative metal snake hood, estimated to be 500 years old with Nepal links, was seized from by the idol wing sleuths.
It is an eka mukha (single-faced) linga fixed permanently on the metal hood, which has five faces of lord Shiva at the bottom, and attributes like damaru and soolam, said police. The rear side of the snake hood has a Garuda represented in a flying position.
Based on a tip-off that a duo was in possession of an antique idol for sale, the cops posed as wealthy enthusiasts and established contact with the smugglers.
They met the idol smugglers posing as buyers and agreed to pay Rs 25 crore quoted by the accused. After making the duo produce the Greenstone lingam with the metal hood that was concealed in a secret closet, idol-wing cops secured the smugglers and seized the idol from them.The accused identified as E Bakthvachalam alias Bala (46) of Vellavedu and S Bakiyaraj (42) of Puthuchathiram were arrested and remanded in judicial custody. After examination by an antique expert, police said that the idol must be 500 years old and its origin could be traced to Nepal. Further investigation is on to ascertainwhere the duo received the idol from and a hunt has been launched for two more suspects.