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Cop, BJP functionary among 4 arrested for smuggling idols in Tamil Nadu

Two more accused are yet to be arrested and the police are now investigating which temples the idols were stolen from.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
February 3, 2022 3:54:14 pm
India is a signatory to the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. (File Photos)

The Tamil Nadu Idol Wing has arrested four persons, including a policeman and a BJP functionary, Wednesday on charges of smuggling idols in Ramanathapuram.

The Madurai Idol Wing protection police received a tip-off that one Alexandar (52), a district secretary of the BJP’s minority wing in Ramanathapuram, had planned to sell antique Idols. Based on the direction of Jayanth Murali, ADGP, Idol Wing, a special team was formed.

The team arrested Alexandar on February 2. The police quoted Alexandar as saying that he has seven idols provided to him by Ilankumaran (44), a head constable (now suspended) attached to the Aruppukotai Nagar police station and one Karuppsamy (35) of Kooraikundu in Virudhunagar.

The police arrested Ilankumaran and Karuppusamy and during questioning it was learnt that Ilankumaran, Nagendran of the Armed Reserve Police from Dindigul, Ganesan of Thiruthangal in Virudunagar and Karuppsamy had learnt that antique idols were available for sale at Edappadi in Salem.

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Posing themselves as officials of the Idol Wing, Ilankumaran and his associates reached Edappadi and seized the idols from one gang and gave it to Alexander to sell them for Rs five crore.

The police have so far arrested Alexandar, Ilankumaran, Karuppusamy and Nagendran. Rajesh and Ganesan, who are part of the gang, are yet to be arrested. The police are currently investigating from which temples the idols were stolen.

The seven idols include a big Natarajar statue (2 ft), a small Natarajar statue (1.25 ft), Nagakanni (1.5 ft), Kali (1 ft), Murugan (0.75 ft), Vinayagar (0.5 ft) and Naga Devathai (0.5) feet. These were hidden by the gang near the Koorichatha Ayyanar Temple in Ramanathapuram.

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First published on: 03-02-2022 at 03:54:14 pm

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