Chennai, July 23 (BPNS)
The Tamil Nadu idol wing police seized a 4.5 feet Nataraja idol from Manali in Chennai which is believed to be the third largest in Asia. While the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has confirmed that the idol is made of Panchaloha, the idol wing has approached the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) for validating the same.
A senior officer with the Tamil Nadu Idol wing told BPNS that the seizure was on Thursday and the accused person did not have any documents to prove its ownership. The investigation team is to find out from where the person, Parthiban from whose premises the idol was seized, got the Nataraja idol.
ASI officials told BPNS that in 2017 a woman had approached them requesting a non- antiquity certificate to ship the idol to Germany. However she, according to ASI officials, did not reveal the location of the idol and its whereabouts and it was just like a casual enquiry.
The idol wing had received a tip-off from its informers that the idol was in Chennai and recovered from the iron and steel market in Manali.
Director General of Police (Idol Wing ), Jayanth Murali IPS while speaking to BPNS said, “ We strongly believe that the idol is around 1200 years old and it may either be during the Chola period or the transition period from Chola to Pallava dynasty. We have approached the IGCAR and the ASI to get an expert opinion on its antique value as well as on the panchaloha content and is awaiting the results.”
The Tamil Nadu idol wing police have been making several arrests and recovering idols that were stolen from temples and waiting to be shipped abroad.