The 2,600-year-old idol of Lord Mahavira, stolen from a Jamui temple nine days ago, was recovered from a field on Sunday after a high-level investigation. Home Minister Rajnath Singh had earlier expressed concern over the theft and even spoken to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar about the case.
On Sunday, the home minister commended the Bihar Police for recovering the ancient idol. “I am happy to know that the ancient idol of Lord Mahavira has been recovered. Bihar Police has done a good job,” he said in a statement.
The 250-kg black stone idol, valued at crores of rupees in the international market, was stolen on November 27 from a village in Jamui’s Sikandra block. The temple is an ASI site, but is not protected. As the idol theft affected sentiments of locals and the Jain community in the state, the DGP stepped in to ensure that the thieves were not able to transport the idol out of the state.
Bhagalpur-zone Inspector General of Police BS Meena said the idol was recovered from a field in Bicchwa village. Meena claimed after the gang behind the theft failed to transport the idol out of the state, it informed the police about its whereabouts through an indirect source.
Jamui police said while no arrests were made, some suspects were being questioned. The recovery of the idol is a reprieve for the government, as Opposition BJP had been mounting pressure on Nitish-led government to crack the case.
[with PTI inputs]