Six selling 16th-century idol walk into cop trap

Six selling 16th-century idol walk into cop trap

Vineet Gill, TNN, May 30, 2010, 04.04am IST

NEW DELHI: The special staff of central district police on Friday arrested six people who were allegedly trying to sell a 16-century idol. Officials of Archaelogical Survey of India said the idol of Lord Adinath dating back to 1559 would have fetched more than Rs 10 crore in the international market.

The police said that after receiving a tip-off, a team was formed under captain Satbir of special staff and a decision was taken to send a decoy customer to the accused. ‘‘A meeting with the accused was fixed for Friday afternoon at DDU Marg, near the government school. Around 3:15pm, two persons came there and the deal was finalized. The two then called accomplices who were carrying the idol. As soon as the four others came in a Maruti Swift car, we arrested them and seized the idol,’’ said Jaspal Singh, DCP (central district).

‘‘During the interrogation, the six men disclosed they had taken this idol from two of their acquaintances, John and Arif. They were reportedly told that the idol was stolen from a Jain temple in Rajasthan,’’ said Singh.

Police said the accused were looking for buyers over the internet, and had made attempts to sell the idol to one of the museums in London. ‘‘A case has been registered against the six at the Kamla Market police station and the idol has been preserved,’’ said Singh.

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