Three held while trying to sell rare Mughal era holy Quran

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New Delhi, Mar 8 (UNI) In a major breakthrough, police has arrested three property dealers trying to sell two ''rarest of the rare'' copies of the holy Quran, dating back to the Mughal era.

Additional Commissioner of police (Crime) Satyendra Garg said here today that the Crime Branch had received a tip-off that a few persons were trying to sell rare copies of the holy Quran dating back to 16th century (Mughal era).

''Police decoys managed to contact three persons who claimed they had copies of the manuscript. They took the three into confidence and struck a deal to buy the antique manuscripts for Rs 3.5 crore instead of Rs five crore, they were demanding,'' said Garg. The three had initially shown cops coloured pictures of the books.

Yesterday evening, the three came in two cars to Uday Park near Defence Colony with the rare copies. ''As soon as the police decoys saw the copies, the three were arrested by another police team,'' added Garg. The accused have been identified as Gurdeep Singh, Sanjay Nathani and Prasanjit Biswas, all residents of Delhi.

The two books are caligraphed and some of the pages have letters written in golden ink. While one book has 150 pages, the other has 220 pages. Both the books are leather-bound.

According to the Archeological Survey of India, the books are ''rarest of the rare'' and can priced crores of rupees in the international market.

Police said the person who had provided the copies to accused is yet to be arrested.

The three have been booked under various sections of the IPC and the Antiquity and Art Treasures Act, 1972. Under the Act, anyone in possession of antiques cannot transfer or sell such items without permission of the government.

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