Eight idols were seized by Tamil Nadu's Idol Wing which are worth crores of rupees in the international market and five of them more than thousand years old (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@jayantmuraliips)
The Idol Wing CID of Tamil Nadu Police has recovered eight idols of which five are more than 1,000 years old from a hideout in Swamimalai in Thanjavur district.
The recovered statues include exquisitely carved idols of Goddess Bogasakti Amman which weighs 200 kilograms; 2 Buddha idols – one in a seated posture and other standing; Andal and Lord Vishnu. All these are more than 1,000 years old.
Apart from these, idols of Nataraja said to be 100-year-old, Goddess Sivakami and Ramana Maharshi were seized during the raid.
All these idols in the international market are said to be worth crores of rupees.
Congrats! To my team for a rich haul of five high value #antique #idols> 1000 years old worth crores in the international market fromhideout of a #idol thief in Swamimalai. The idols include Meenakshi, Vishnu,BogashakthiAmman. @tnpoliceoffl, @TNDIPRNEWS,@CMOTamilnadu #IPS,#Police pic.twitter.com/qy6FNJEY5S
— Jayanth Murali IPS, DGP, Author of “42 Mondays” (@jayantmuraliips) August 10, 2022
After an unsuccessful search operation at G. Masilamani’s residence in Kodambakkam, the Idol Wing rushed to his hideout in Swamimalai to conduct a raid. Masilamani has been named as the accused in the theft case in Sivakanchi.
The search at the hideout yielded the antique idol of Nataraja and continuing the operation, the cops found 7 more idols.
Besides the idols, antiquity certificates too were recovered.
Talking about this case, K. Jayanth Murali, the Director-General of Police of Idol Wing CID said: “During the search, evidence pertaining to the idols’ antiquity issued by the Archeology Survey of India (ASI) for the metal idol of Goddess Bhogasakti on January 12, 2017 and for Vishnu and Buddha idols on October 3, 2011 kept hidden in a closet was also unearthed.”
These idols were hidden because there is no documentary evidence to prove its ownership. Having seized the idols, police are now finding out the temples from where they were stolen from.
Masilamani, from whose premises the idols were seized, did not possess any valid documents to show ownership nor origin of the idols.