MP: Khajuraho cops recover 9th century statues from local resident's dwelling

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhopal/Khajuraho
  • Updated: Nov 05, 2014 18:01 IST

Khajuraho police recovered two statues belonging to ninth to 10th century in a raid carried out in the temple town on Monday night. These statues, found during excavation of a house, were hidden in a kutcha hut by the house owner.

Police are not ruling out the possibility that these could have been smuggled out of the country later on. The place is walking distance away from Khajuraho's world famous Western Group of Temple.

According to Khajuraho SDO (police) KC Nahta, the police raided a deserted kutcha hut in Bajrangh Mohalla following a tip-off and recovered two statues. The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) team was also informed and they conducted a detailed examination of the seized statues.

The recovered antiques that, the police believe, could have been smuggled out of the country.

(HT photo)

According to preliminary assessment, the statues belong to ninth or 10th century and resembled portrait of Apsara. According to police investigation so far, the statues were found during excavation of a house. The workers, who got the statues, handed them over to the house owner, Manoj Shivhare.

He had hidden the statues in a nearby kutcha hut. Police said it was possible that Manoj planned to smuggle the rare and costly statues of famous Khajuraho architecture out of India.

Khajuraho temples were constructed between 950-1050 AD by Chandel dynasty and in the 12th century, there used to be eighty five temples in Khajuraho spread in 20 km area. At present, only 20 temples are remaining spread in area of six square km.

According to rules, prior permission of ASI is required before construction of any residential house close to these groups of temple. The ASI team conducts some tests and grants permission, if convinced. Local people, however, claimed that this rule is not adhered to and construction work is carried out at will by individuals and institutions.

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