CHENNAI: Sleuths from the idol wing CID has seized four antique idols and a Thanjavur painting from the premise of Maunaswamy Mutt in Kumbakonam on Wednesday.
The seized idols are: metal idol of Nataraja, metal statue of goddess Sivakami with Thiruvachi, Vinayagar metal idol with thiruvachi and pedestal, metal idol of Balathandayuthapani and Tanjore painting 144 cm high and 115 cm wide consisting of 63 Nayanmar Leela.
The Idol Wing's search operation was triggered by a petition from from Ram Niranjan, signed by 20 others of Hindu Munnani, alleging that the Administrator of Maunaswamy Mutt, located at Kumbakonam Mounasamy Mutt Street, was hoarding antique idols.
As planned, the team, under the leadership of Inspector Indira, reached the Maunaswamy Mutt with warrant and carried out searches.
During the search, the team found a few idols concealed in the discreet portion of the mutt. The mutt authorities were requested to prove the provenance of the idols. The mutt authorities were unable to produce the documents, and they meekly submitted that the idols in their possession were illicit idols with no provenance. Following this the artifacts were seized.
The seized idols were sent for remand to the ACJM Court, Kumbakonam. The details of idols and images are being submitted to the HR&CE to ascertain if they were stolen from temples, said DGP Jayant Murali in a press release.