Ancient idol worth Rs 1 crore stolen from temple

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Amid Mahashivratri celebration, a dozen unidentified miscreants stole 1,500-year-old marble idol of ‘Chakreshwari Mata’ worth Rs 1 crore from a Jain temple, eight km from Visnagar in Mehsana district, during wee hours on Monday.

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Palanpur (Gujarat), February 21, 2012: Amid Mahashivratri celebration, a dozen unidentified miscreants stole 1,500-year-old marble idol of ‘Chakreshwari Mata’ worth Rs 1 crore from a Jain temple, eight km from Visnagar in Mehsana district, during wee hours on Monday.

Around 10 to 12 thieves barged into the temple premises after breaking the channel gate and stole the 2.5-feet-high idol weighing 90 kg. Surprisingly, the thieves did not even attempt to touch the silver crown, umbrella studded with ornaments and cash, police said.

The incident came to light when temple priest Shakuntla Devi found the idol missing and alerted local temple head Moni Nirbhay Sagar. “We have gathered evidence from the spot and efforts are on to nab the miscreants,” Mehsana superintendent of police R J Sawani said. The investigations were handed over to the Local Crime Branch.

Two years ago thieves had targeted the Taranga Jain temple and tried to steal the idol of Lord Neminath. But because it was heavy, the idol broke on the way and miscreants could take only the head. “We cannot rule out the links between the two as accused in the Taranga case are out on bail and did not remain present in the court last time,” Sawani added.

Moniji said it was the second time that attempt was made to steal the idols. The stolen idol was one of the 58 ancient idols installed in the temple on June 6 last year after they were found during excavation near Rajgadhi Tikara in the village in 2002. – News Courtesy: Times of India

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Post Author: JHC