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Not emerald lingam: daughter of accused

Two days after the arrest of five persons, including a woman in Salem district, for allegedly trying to smuggle an emerald lingam weighing around 7 kg said to be worth Rs 25 crore, the daughter of one of the accused has claimed that it was only an ordinary green stone idol and it belonged to their family for generations.

Not emerald lingam: daughter of accused
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Coimbatore

The woman, who made this claim, identified herself as S Aswini (24) of Thalavaipatti near Paal Pannai in Salem and the daughter of R Valli (49) of Salem, who was arrested along with four others by a team led by Inspector General of Police for the Idol Wing A G Pon Manickavel. 

Talking to reporters, Aswini and her advocate S K Suruli Vel claimed that the case against Valli and other accused was not true and should be withdrawn. The woman claimed that the idol belonged to her family and that her grandfather, who possessed it for many years, passed it on to her father 15 years ago. 

She claimed that many people, who saw it in their house, said that it looked like an emerald idol because of which she even got it tested in a private lab at Ammapet in Salem four years ago. The tests confirmed that it was an ordinary green idol and not an emerald lingam. 

When contacted citing the woman’s claims, Superintendent of Police (SP) of Salem District P Rajan told DTNext that no such petition has reached him so far. He said that a team of experts attached to the Archaeology Department, Chennai, would be examining the idol soon and collect other details about it. 

He also said that the case in this connection that has been registered by the Tharamangalam police would be transferred to the idol wing in a couple of days. He said that the Salem police only played an assistive role to the idol wing IG to secure the accused.

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