Saturday, October 23, 2021

Kullu temple theft: Suspect buried main idol near highway

Man held in Nepal, cops say case solved.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla |
January 25, 2015 3:54:41 am
Raghunathji temple, kullu, rama Lord Rama idol at Raghunathji temple

Basant Panchmi on Saturday assumed special significance for Kullu this year —the residents were celebrating recovery of a centuries-old idol of Lord Ram, around 45 days after it was stolen from the famous Raghunathji temple in the town along with other valuables and artifacts.

The idol was recovered near Bajaora on the outskirts of the town along the Mandi-Kullu National Highway. It was concealed under soil. The 18 stolen items were recovered after the main suspect, 41-year-old Nar Prashad Jaisi, a resident of Humla in Nepal, was arrested in his country. The police in Nepal are currently interrogating Jaisi about his antecedents.

The Himachal police team also recovered some articles of puja, which were also missing from the temple along with the main idol and other priceless artifacts, from Vipasha market in Kullu.

“We are happy to inform that the case has been solved. It was only after the clues provided by an accused that the police managed to get the idol back,” ADGP ( Law and Order) Sanjay Kundu told The Indian Express.

It is said that the idols of Lord Rama and Lord Hanuman were brought from Ayodhya to Kullu in 1651 during the regime of Raja Jagat Singh. The idols made of ashtadhatu date back to second or third century, but the devotees claim that these belong to the Ramayana era.

The police said that they zeroed in on Jaisi as he had several suspicious visits to the temple — caught on the CCTV cameras — for four days just before the theft on the intervening night of December 8 and 9. Jaisi’s telephone calls to Nepal and his subsequent movements across the Indo-Nepal border also cemented the Kullu police’s suspicion on him.

A case under sections 457 and 380 of the IPC was registered at Kullu on December 9 after the idol of Lord Raghunath, the presiding deity of famous Kullu dussehra, and 17 other items were stolen.

The investigations supervised by the state’s ADGP were spread over to several states — Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Bihar — and also later to Nepal, and all findings pointed towards a 5.2 feet slim suspect, Jaisi, who was arrested by the Nepal police on January 23.

The recovery of the stolen articles was carried out with the use of advanced technology and Google maps.

Jaisi had earlier been in a Shimla jail in connection with a burglary case. The government had announced Rs 10 lakh reward for information.

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