Six held for bid to sell antique idol in Delhi

Saturday, May 29, 2010

NEW DELHI - Six people have been arrested for trying to sell a 16th centry Jain idol here, police said Saturday.

Rabinder Nath Chand, 25; George Eric Parker, 25; Ganpati, 28; Mukesh Singh, 27; Satbir Sharma, 28; and Rahul, 27, were arrested in central Delhi’s Kamla Market area Friday under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act for trying to sell an idol of Lord Aadinath weighing 92 kg, police said.

Police received an information Friday that attempts were being made by some people to sell a stolen idol of Lord Aadinath for Rs.9 crore.

“A decoy customer was deployed to arrange a meeting with the sellers. Two people came there and the deal was finalized for Rs.9 crores. Thereafter, they called their accomplices along with the antique idol,” a senior police official said.

According to police, the six people were apprehended and the idol was recovered.

During interrogation, it was revealed that the antique idol was stolen from a Jain temple in Rajasthan.

“All of them were in search of a big buyer who could pay them crores of rupees for the idol. They were also searching for buyers on the Internet,” the official added.

Efforts are being made to verify the place from where the antique idol was stolen and to apprehend the remaining accused, police said.

The idol was inspected by officers of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) who confirmed that the idol is of Lord Aadinath also known as Rishabhdev, the founder of Jainism.

“This idol of Lord Aadinath is in ‘padmasan mudra’. There is an inscription in ‘Devnagri’ around the pedestal. The idol has been shown to be made in 1559 and is made of ‘ashtadhatu’ (eight metals). It is an antique and priceless idol.” the police official said.

According to the Antiquities and Art Treasure Act sale, change of ownership, change of location and change of possession of antiques is an offence.

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