Within a fortnight of a major heist in a historical temple of Himachal Pradesh, the police on Thursday arrested three accused and seized eight antique stolen idols. The accused - all of Nepali nationality - were involved in the theft of idols July 23, 2013 from the Bandra 'devta' temple near Rohru town, some 120 km from Shimla. They were arrested in the morning, Director General Sanjay Kumar said in a statement in Shimla.
He said the accused have been identified as Dhirender Shahi, Bharat Shahi and Ramesh. "All the eight idols have been recovered. The legal process for transfer of the case property has been initiated," said Sanjay Kumar, a 1985 IPS officer who assumed charge as DGP in Shimla onThursday. He superseded B Kamal Kumar, who superannuated.
In the past 15 years, at least 100 thefts from temples have been reported, over 20 of them notable ones, say police records. Police suspect the involvement of Nepali migrants and foreign antique smugglers. "We will try to implement foolproof security arrangements in all the prominent temples and monasteries by involving temple committees too," the DGP told IANS.