Delhi police have arrested two men, including a taxi driver, with an antique idol of Lord Mahavira worth around Rs 7.5 crore.
Police said the idol dates to 14-15th century AD and was stolen from Rajasthan by a quack.
The arrested men are Shiv Taj Singh (54), a taxi driver, and his associate Sanjay Kumar (31), both residents of Delhi. They were arrested from south Delhi’s Maharani Bagh area.
JCP (crime) Sandeep Goel said, “We got information about the two men with some invaluable antique property. This information was developed and our team members struck a deal with them by posing as potential buyers. They were asked to come to Maharani Bagh to deliver the idol.”
The two came in a radio taxi and were arrested.
Police said the metal idol is of Lord Mahavira seated in the padmasana mudra. The height and width of the idol are 21.5 cm and 16.5 cm, respectively.
Sanjay Bhatia, additional DCP (crime), said the two revealed that they had purchased the idol from one Md Saheed of Palwal in Haryana. They said Saheed is a hakim.
“Singh said he had met Saheed some six months ago for the treatment of his daughter. During his visits, Saheed disclosed that he has stolen an antique idol from Rajasthan and wants to sell it,” said Bhatia.
“Being a taxi driver, Singh had good contacts with foreign tourists. He purchased the idol from Saheed for Rs 1.8 lakh, which was arranged by his associates, Manoj and Sanjay. They were arrested before they could sell it,” Bhatia said, adding that efforts are being made to nab Saheed and Manoj.