Police probe idols that went missing from Iraniyur temple 50 years ago


The Idol Wing-CID has registered a case in connection with the missing of eight antique idols from the Aatkonda Nathar Temple at lraniyur in Sivaganga district. Preliminary investigation had revealed that the idols went missing more than 50 years ago.

The ancient temple was in a dilapidated condition and was renovated by the Nagarathar community between 1941 and 1944.

The temple is under the control of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department.

Listed for auction

Sources said that an auction house in New York recently published one of the missing idols on its website for auction. Indian High Commission officials were alerted, and the auction was stopped. The Idol Wing-CID conducted a thorough probe and analysed old photographs. After working on several leads, it traced the origin of the idol with the help of HR&CE officials.

After verifying the temple records of 1948, executive officer Sumathi filed a complaint that the idols of Somaskandar, Skandar, Priyavidaiamman, Thani Ambal, Thirugnana Sambandar, Sundaramurthy Nayanar, Nithia Urchavaswami and Urchava Ambal went missing. On the order of Abhay Kumar Singh, Additional Director-General of Police, Idol Wing-CID, a case was registered under Sections 452 (2) (breaking a temple in order to commit offence during day time), 457(2) (breaking a temple to commit offence during night time) and 380 (2) (theft in temple) of the IPC.

“Efforts are on to trace the idols which are suspected to be in foreign countries and authorities in Indian missions will be approached. The idols will be retrieved and brought back,” a senior police officer said.

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