Orissa: Antique Buddha idol seized, 4 held

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Bhubaneswar, May 19: Four people were arrested and a thousand year-old statue of Lord Buddha and a priceless antique copper telescope were seized from their possession.

Besides, some old coins, Kasturi, precious and semi-precious stones and an ivory box were also recovered from their possession.

Police quoting trade circle estimated the seized items to be worth over Rs one crore. All the four have been arrested for illegally trading in antiques and banned wildlife products.

Acting on a tip-off a police team of the Kharvela Police station rounded up three people from the Master canteen square while they were discussing how to dispose of the antiques last night.

Later they arrested another person from the BJP Nagar area and seized the items from a house in Sailshreevihar.

Police identified the accused as Kirti Panda of Pattamundai in Kendrapara district, C Raju Kumar, V Santosh Kumar Patra and Bhimsen Padhi of Ganjam district.

Police said though the interrogation of the four had not yet been made but they suspected that the statue might have been smuggled from Nepal.

According to police, all the four were trying to sale the telescope for Rs 35 lakh. The Buddha statue would cost more than Rs 10 lakh in the international market.

All the four arrested would be produced in court tomorrow.


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