Chennai: Tamil Nadu police Idol Wing CID has recovered a Hanuman metal idol stolen from a temple in Ariyalur district, 11 years ago. The top police official revealed that the Hanuman idol was traced to the US after it was purchased by an individual who later took it to Australia and then to India.
Lord Hanuman’s idol, stolen from the Varadaraja Perumal temple located in the Ariyalur district, is a recovered idol that will be returned to the temple authorities.
On Saturday, the Tamil Nadu Idol Wing sleuths seized around 55 stone idols, estimated to be from the 9th or 10th century, from a private collector’s residence.
The antique idols were recovered by the police in India and will soon be returned to the temples from where they were stolen, said C Sylendra Babu, the State Director General of Police.
The police suspect that all the idols were stolen about 70 years ago. With the assistance of Indians residing abroad, 64 idols have been traced so far from the US, Australia, Singapore, and England, and efforts are underway to retrieve them.
In addition, Singapore has agreed to return 16 idols to India. Last year, 10 idols were brought back to India from Delhi, and of them, nine were handed over to the respective temples. Over the last two years, the Tamil Nadu Idol Wing has recovered 307 ancient idols that are estimated to be about 1,000 years old.