Delhi Police’s Crime Branch has arrested two men for allegedly trying to sell rare antique idols which date back to the 9th century AD near Ashram in south Delhi, police said.
Suresh Pal (20) and Nepal Singh (30) had received the idols from their two associates who are absconding.
A stone sculpture of the ‘Dwarpal’ of a Shiva temple and a 14th century metal idol of a meditating Lord Mahavir, which they were allegedly trying to sell for Rs 80 lakh, were seized from them, the police said. The arrests came after the police received information that the duo were trying to sell stolen antiques near the community centre in New Friends Colony, the police said.
“A constable was sent as a decoy customer, who struck a deal of Rs 80 lakh for both the antiques. While Rs 50 lakh was quoted for Lord Mahavir’s idol, Rs 30 lakh was quoted for the other antique. The policeman came back after seeing photographs of the idols and striking a deal by which both the parties were to meet on Monday evening,” said Neeraj Thakur, DCP (crime). When the accused turned up, they were arrested, Thakur said.
During searches, Lord Mahavir’s bronze idol was recovered from Suresh and the Dwarpal’s idol from Singh. Suresh runs an iron fabrication shop besides his property dealing business while Singh is also a property dealer, the police added.
During interrogation, Thakur said, they told investigators they came in contact with one Gurdeep and Rajesh who allegedly lured them to deal in such antiques.
Gurdeep and Rajesh had allegedly showed them the idols sometime back and told them they were stolen and could be sold for crores.
A case under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and Antiquity and Art Treasure Act has been registered.