5 views 3 mins 0 Comment

TN idol wing recovers 5ft Lord Nataraja idol from sculptors workshed

- March 31, 2022

Chennai, March 31 (BPNS)

Tamil Nadu idol wing police have recovered a 5 ft high Lord  Nataraja idol from the workshed of a sculptor at Mangudi village near Swamimalai in Thanjavur district. The idol wing sources said that the Lord Nataraja idol was an antique metal piece and said that the idol was seized on Wednesday and produced before the court. The sculptor, Suresh was interrogated and let off and asked to appear before the idol wing of the Tamil Nadu police when called up.

Idol wing officers said that they are probing whether the sculptor Suresh is involved in the smuggling of antique idols from Tamil Nadu to foreign destinations and said that they are not able to divulge details on whether other idols were present in his workshed during the raids.

Sleuths said that they had conducted the raids at the work shed after obtaining permission from the Kumbakonam district court and have now produced the 5 ft idol of Lord Nataraja before the court.

Police sources said that the sculptor Suresh did not have any documents to prove that the idol belonged to him and hence the idol wing sleuths produced the idol before the Kumbakonam court.

The Idol wing CID also said that after a detailed probe only it could be known whether the Five ft tall Lord Nataraja idol belonged to any temple of Tamil Nadu.

It is to be noted that the idol wing of Tamil Nadu police has been cracking several cases related to the stealing and smuggling of precious idols from Tamil Nadu temples. In a recent raid an idol worth Rs 9 crore in International Market was seized from the premises of an antique seller and the idol wing took the idol into custody and produced before the Chennai magistrate court. The owner of the famous antique shop was taken into custody by the police and on further interrogation had informed that several idols were shipped out of the country.

The idol wing had recovered a few idols from these foreign destinations and is pursuing cases with some countries to recover the idols and bring them back to the respective temples.

The Tamil Nadu idol wing has also arrested a temple priest for having kept several idols at his home and was seeking international buyers.

An officer with the Tamil Nadu idol wing on conditions of anonymity while speaking to BPNS said, “The idol wing has recovered several antique pieces belonging to temples of Tamil Nadu and even neigbhourng Karnataka. This is a thriving business in the grey market but the intervention of the idol wing has decelerated the momentum of smuggling and we are closely monitoring almost all suspected people including those behind the bars who were involved in idol thefts and smuggling to foreign countries.”