January 28, 2017 4:08:04 am
A 6-foot Ganesha idol, perched on a hill in Dholkal area of Dantewada, went missing and was found in a damaged condition downhill on Friday. The granite idol, which attracts attention for its presence in an area among dense forests, is likely to be over a 1,000-year-old, historians have claimed. A group of tourists, who trekked to the spot from Dantewada on Friday morning, found the idol missing from the spot. They informed villagers, who contacted local authorities about the incident. A search operation was then launched after the District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Dantewada reached the spot.
Senior police officers suspect that Maoists had tried to cause damage to the idol. “Over the past few years, because of its unique presence, many people were trekking up to the mountain, which may have been hampering their (Maoists’) work. It is possible that the Maoists have a hand in this,” a senior officer said.
Government officials were more non-committal in their assessment, with a press release stating that prima facie it seemed to be the handiwork of “anti-social elements” and that investigations were on.
A K Sharma, an 82-year-old archaeologist and Padma recipient, will examine the spot, officials said. The mountain range lies 14 km inside the forest from Faraspal police station of the district, which is around 450 km from Raipur. The place can only be reached on foot.
🗞 Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access our in-depth reporting, explainers and opinions 🗞️
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.