Idol theft: Himachal seeks Nepal's help in handing over main accused

Himachal Pradesh plans to ask the Nepalese government to deport the main accused in the idol-theft case. The accused, Nar Prashad Jaisi, a resident of Kalika in Humla district of Nepal, was arrested by the Special Nepal Police following a tip-off by the three-member team of Himachal Police sent to the country.

punjab Updated: Jan 24, 2015 20:05 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times
Shimla,Nepalese,Banke district
A-view-of-Raghunath-temple-from-where-17-century-idol-of-Lord-Ram-was-stolen-on-December-9-2014-HT

Himachal Pradesh plans to ask the Nepalese government to deport the main accused in the idol-theft case. The accused, Nar Prashad Jaisi, a resident of Kalika in Humla district of Nepal, was arrested by the Special Nepal Police following a tip-off by the three-member team of Himachal Police sent to the country.

"Though we do not have extradition treaty with Nepal, yet we will seek his deportation," director general of police (DGP), Sanjay Kumar, told HT.

The Nepalese police had arrested the accused near Kohlapur in Banke district on January 22, a day before the precious idols, stolen December last, were finally recovered. It was upon interrogation that the accused revealed the place where he had hidden his catch.

"On the information of the Nepalese police we prepared a sketch to identify the places revealed by the accused. The location of the statues and other antiques was identified through Google map," the DGP said.

The main idols of Raghunath, Hanuman and Ganesha were recovered from Bajaura while the silver items were recovered from Beasa Mor in outskirts of Kullu district.

In the process of recovering the idols the police made full use of modern communication tools to liaise with their Nepalese counterparts. "A sketch of the prime suspect was sent to the Nepal police through Whatspp," Kumar said.

"We knew the accused had escaped to Nepal, but we spared no efforts to nab him. The investigation was very complicated," said additional DGP (law and order) Sanjay Kundu, who supervised the entire investigation.

Kundu said during the course of investigation, police interrogated more than 500 people and tracked more than 1000 mobile phones.

The special investigation team of the Himachal Police also involved over a dozen other teams including crime scene specialists, phone forensic specialists and investigators besides intelligence officers.

"Investigations revealed that the Nepalese national had carried reconnaissance of the temple continuously for four days before committing the theft," he said, adding that the main accused was himself unaware of the significance of these artifacts.

"It was only after watching the news that the realised the magnitude of the theft," Kundu added.

First Published: Jan 24, 2015 18:43 IST