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Buddha statue stolen from Sarnath temple

A GANG of burglars stole an old gold statue of Lord Buddha from the main Buddhist temple situated on Mul Gandha Kuti Vihara campus in Sarnath on Sunday night. The theft came to light in the wee hours on Monday. This caused commotion amongst the devotees and Buddhist monks and students residing in Sarnath.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2006 01:20 IST

A GANG of burglars stole an old gold statue of Lord Buddha from the main Buddhist temple situated on Mul Gandha Kuti Vihara campus in Sarnath on Sunday night. The theft came to light in the wee hours on Monday. This caused commotion amongst the devotees and Buddhist monks and students residing in Sarnath.

On getting information, the police officials got on to their toes and rushed to the spot with dog squad and finger print experts for the primary investigation but they could not find any clues about the thieves. However, police have taken four suspects in custody for interrogation. Sarnath is the birthplace of Buddhism where Lord Buddha had delivered his first sermon more than 2500 years back.

Buddhists and devotees across the country and world visit here daily to perform worship of Lord Buddha. The ashes of Buddha and his teeth are also placed in a box here but they could not be stolen. Thieves also stole some valuable beads and 3 kg silver items along with 8-inch high statue of gold gifted to the temple here by a devotee from Sri Lanka 35 years back.

The president of the government approved Tourists Guides Association Ashok Kumar Verma said it was shameful, hurting the faith and feelings of Buddhists throughout the world. It was also the duty of the government to ensure the security of Mul Gandha Kuti Vihara in Sarnath along with Maha Bodhi Society of India, he said.

First Published: Jan 10, 2006 01:20 IST