The Idol Wing CIP of TN Police made a big seizure of idols in a bungalow in R. A. Puram last weekend. Some 55 idols were said to be antique and could be dated to the 9th or 10th century and that they were all stolen from various temples in TN and elsewhere.
The police landed up at the bungalow working on a lead that idols were being packed.
The bungalow belonged to a NRI, Shoba Durairajan, an art collector residing now in the USA. The idols were lying in the garden here, partly hidden.
She is said to have bought the idols over time from art dealer Deenadayalan at his art gallery on Murrays Gate Road, Alwarpet.
Incidentally, this gallery was raided by the police in 2016, leading to a huge seizure and to the arrest of a kingpin in the smuggling trade.
Deendayalan passed away as the case was progressing.
Police said that Shoba produced handwritten receipts as proof of sale of the idols; nothing formal and concrete.
The idols are of Varahi, Veerabadrar, Durga, Vishnu and Dakshinamurthy and of many others. Investigations have begun to trace the ‘home’ of these idols.
- File photo used here – of police raid of Deenadayalan’s house in Awarpet