CHENNAI: Idol Wing-CID of Tamil Nadu Police on Friday retrieved seven antique artefacts which were hoarded at a store in Auroville near Puducherry.
Idol Wing sleuths were acting based on a tip off that a shop dealing with handicrafts and artefacts was hoarding stolen metal idols from temples across Tamil Nadu.
“After making local enquiries and ascertaining the truth behind the information of nefarious activities in the shop, the Idol Wing obtained an order to search the premises from the Judicial Magistrate. A special team of police under DSP Kathiresan, Idol Wing Tiruchy and Inspector Indira, Idol Wing Kumbakonam raided Metal Crafts located in Bommayapalayam in Auroville in Villupuram district near Puducherry,” said Jayanth Murali, DGP Idol Wing.
Subsequently, police seized 116 cm bronze Arthanareeswarar idol, 60cm metal Arthanareeswarar, 60cm bronze metallic idol of Arthanareeswarar, 126 cm bronze Sivagami Amman, 122 cm bronze Krishnan, 22 cm Buddha metal statue and a 34 cm bronze peacock (Mullu Mailvaganam) idol.
Police also seized a document allegedly from the Archaeological Survey of India, declaring one of the three idols of Ardhanareeswarar to be an antique piece. Police said K Ramachandran (42), the shop owner had tried to obtain a clearance certificate from ASI when they found out that it was an antique idol.
During further search the idol wing officers seized other idols. "As the owner could not establish the provenance of the idols, the IdolWwing is investigating how and by whom and from where the idols got stolen," stated an official release.
The release further added that the idols are expected to be submitted before the ASI for inspection, and a report will be forwarded to the HR and CE department for identifying and assigning the idols to the temples.