CHENNAI: Three antique idols stolen from the Aadhi Kesava Perumal temple in Ulundurpet in Kallakuruchi, recovered from a house in RA Puram, Chennai along with four other high value antique idols, worth several crores of rupeesand sold by idol wing accused late Deenadayalan.
The seizures were done from the premises of Shobha Durairajan, First Cross Street, 7th Main Road, RA Puram. During the search carried out on 7 December, the Idol wing team found seven antique idols in Shobha Durairajan’s possession. They are Aadhi Kesava Perumal (59x27 cm), Sree Devi (48x20 cm), Bhoodevi (48x21cm), Asthira Devar (48x38.5 cm), Amman (60x 25 cm), Veera Bhadra (40x18 cm), and Mahadevi (34x14cm).
Shobha Durairajan told the investigators that she had purchased the idol from Aparna gallery of Deenadayalan between the year 2008 and 2015. During the probe, of the seven idols, three (Aadhikesavaperumal, Sree Devi and Bhoodevi) were found to be stolen from Aadhi Kesava Perumal temple in Ulundurpet in the year 2011.
Investigation further revealed that the owner of the stolen idols, Shobha Durairajan had registered the Standing Perumal, Sreedevi and Bhoodevi with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Shimoga in 2013. The owner of the illicit antique idols had no receipt for the above idols although she had receipts for the remaining idols which were signed and issued by the late Deenadayalan himself.
The ASI Shimoga, after the inspection, had certified all three idols to be more than three hundred years old. The expert who later examined the three idols estimated the idols to be worth more than Rs. 5 crores in the international market. On December 9, after realising that the idol she was inpossession could be stolen, she handed over the other four idols to the idolwing. Idol wing sleuths are now trying to find out from where the other four idols were stolen.
DGP Jayanth Murali, heading the idol wing said that the idol wing is planning to hand over the three idols of Standing Perumal, Sreedevi and Bhoodevi, to the Adhi-Kesava temple shortly. "This is probably the first time the Idol Wing is restoring the locally stolen antique idols of the temple after recovering them" he added.