Police seek extradition of Nepalese suspect in temple heist

  • Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Feb 22, 2015 19:00 IST

A month after the police recovered the priceless Raghunath idols that were stolen from a Kullu temple, the Himachal police has renewed its efforts to persuade the Nepalese government to hand over the prime suspect in the daring theft.

The cops have, through the state home department,already written to the home ministry seeking custody of Nar Prashad Jaisi, a resident of Kalika in Humla district in Nepal, who was arrested by the Nepalese police following a tipoff by the Himachal police team sent to Nepal.

“We've written to the home ministry to persuade the Nepalese government to hand over Janise to us. We'll also soon urge the external affairs ministry to take up the matter with the Nepalese government,” director general of police Sanjay Kumar said. “What's making matters worse for the Himachal police is that both countries don't have an extradition treaty. We're also looking at other ways to seek custody of the suspect,” he added.

The daring theft of the temple idols last December had rocked the state and Kullu district in particular. The idols were later found hidden under pile of rocks. It was on the December 8th that thief hand entered inside the temple premises and decamped away with idols and other antiques. Jaisi had singlehandedly carried out the entire operation.

The police had also released the footage of the three suspects. They got a lead from the CCTV camera footage that revealed that a Nepalese carrying a Hindi newspaper had visited the temple frequently. The paper was later found at the crime scene. After the police showed the footage to at least 1,000 people a local identified the whereabouts of the Nepalese suspect.

The Nepalese police later arrested Jaisi near Kohlapur in Banke district on January 22. It was upon interrogation that the accused revealed the place where he had hidden the stolen idol in two different locations.

The Himachal police are contemplating to share of Rs 10 lakh reward announced by the state government for information on the theft with the Nepalese police that supplemented efforts to crack the case. “We want to give some of the reward money to the Nepalese police, but will have to see how we can do that,” Kumar said.

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