Bihar police on Sunday morning recovered the antique 600 BC Lord Mahavira idol, stolen on November 27 from the Janamsthan temple in Jamui district, 150km southeast of Patna.
Some villagers on their morning ablutions found the idol lying in a field. It was recovered on a road between Hussainganj and Pitambar villages, 10km from the famous Lachaur Jain Janamsthan temple. The villagers immediately informed the police, who took the idol into their possession.
PK Thakur, state director general of police, confirmed the recovery. He said, “The recovery of the idol was possible due to constant pressure by the police. We had sealed all exit points, as a result of which smugglers were unable to move the idol out of the district.”
The police team, led by Bhagalpur zone IG Bachchu Singh Meena, had detained around 50 persons in this connection.
Given the sense of outrage in the Jain community, Union home minister Rajnath Singh had spoken to chief minister Nitish Kumar, after which the state government
recommended a CBI probe in the case on December 2. This is the first time that the state police achieved success within four days of recommending a CBI probe.
CBI deputy inspector general Navin Singh had visited the village on December 3 to gather preliminary information while seeking details about the police probe.
Rajnath Singh commended the Bihar Police for the recovery of the idol. “I am happy to know that the ancient idol of Lord Mahavira has been recovered. Bihar Police has done a good job,” he said in a statement.
Revered by the Jain community, the idol, weighing 250 kg, was stolen from the Janamsthan temple. The rare black stone idol is estimated to be worth several crores of rupees in the antique market.
(With agency inputs)