Thieves return stolen bronze plates of Punjab Kesri's statue

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Moga, Mar 30 (UNI) Some unidentified criminals, who had stolen two invaluable bronze plates from the statue of Punjab Kesari Lala Lajpat Rai, apparently had a change of heart after the authorities publicised their significance as a national property.

According to the SSP Ashok Baath, the plates installed with the statue of Lala Lajpat Rai at his memorial in his native place of Dhudike in Moga district, were stolen Friday night.

The police had asked the village Panchayat to publicise the gravity of the crime as the bronze plates were fashioned by noted Delhi artists with inscription of the incident during the freedom struggle, in which the ''Lion of Punjab'' martyred his life.

It was also announced that however, if the plates, a national property, were returned the guilty would not be punished.

Mr Baath told UNI today that both the plates were found abandoned this morning in the cattleshed of a farmer in the village, who immediately informed the police.

The SSP said he handed over the plates to the Lalaji's Birthplace Memorial Committee for its installation with immediate effect.

He has also asked the committee to install search lights around the statue at the memorial.

UNI XC JN BP1734

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