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Antique idols stolen from Himachal temple

Seven antique idols have been stolen from a Himachal Pradesh temple, making it the second such theft in a less than a week, police said on Tuesday.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2009 12:13 IST

Seven antique idols have been stolen from a Himachal Pradesh temple, making it the second such theft in a less than a week, police said on Tuesday. The idols were found missing Monday from the Keem temple near Rampur town in Shimla district, about 160 km from Shimla.

Superintendent of Police (Shimla) RM Sharma said: "Seven antique idols and some jewellery was stolen from the Keem temple. One of the stolen idols was found near the temple. The idol must have fallen while the thieves were fleeing. Most of the idols are made of silver."

Last week, on Sep 16, five 17th century bronze idols were stolen from a temple in Nahan, about 140 km from Shimla.

The thefts have once again put the spotlight on the treasures housed in hundreds of temples and monasteries that lack proper security.

Last year, two ancient idols were stolen from the Shoolini temple in Solan town. In another incident, ancient coins and silver artefacts went missing from the Suryavanshi temple in Kullu town.

Himachal Pradesh has over 2,000 temples and monasteries that are centuries old. Of these, 60 are under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), while 31 are under the control of the state's language, art and culture department.