Four-member idol lifting gang nabed

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Mangalore, Aug 9 (UNI) Kerala Police have arrested a four-member inter-state idol lifting gang at Kumble on Karnataka-Kerala border and seized several idols, masks and vehicles used by them for theft.

Police said the gang operating in Karnataka and Kerala, was involved in more than 30 idol lifting cases.

The arrested have been identified as Raffia, Aboobakkar Siddique from Deralakatte-Manjanady in Daxina Kannada and Mohammad Niyas from Karunagapally and Abdul Latif from Kasargod (both from Kerala).

Acting on a tip-off the police party followed the gang who were moving towards Kasargod in a rented van from Mangalore, intercepted their vehicle at Kumble and arrested them.

The gang had stolen idols from various temples, including a temple near Kundapura (Udupi district), Ganapathy temple near Konaje (Daxina Kannada), Sri Bhagavathi temple near Uppal on the border of the two states, Mutthappan Kshetra in Hosangady (Daxina Kannada) and Sunkadakatte (Kasargod).

The recovered idols includ three stone- studded silver masks of Goddess Sri Devi, 12 kg 'Panchaloha-idol' of Ganapathy, a silver necklace, a golden nose ring, a golden pendent, a silver plate, a cup, hand cover and a sword.

The police impounded the vehicle used by the gang and investigation was under way.

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