Two idols that were more than 114-years old has been stolen from a temple in Bihar’s Vaishali district. According to reports, the incident was reported from the Mataiya village under Mahua police station area.
According to reports, the priest of the temple and local villagers notified the police after the idols were found missing early on Sunday morning. The priest of the temple, Kedar Tiwari has informed the police that he has been performing the rituals and puja in the temple for 46 years. He had locked the temple on Saturday night after the evening puja and rituals were over. Early on Sunday morning when his brother Vansh Lochan Tiwari came to the temple to clean the premises, he reportedly found the temple door ajar and the idols missing from the main pedestal.
The idols were reportedly made of Ashtadhatu (8 metals, including Gold and Silver) and together are believed to weigh around 50 Kgs. The idol of Lord Ram was 2.5 feet tall while that of Laxman was 2 feet tall reportedly. It is believed that they will be worth crores in international markets.
Local villagers had informed the police that the temple was founded in 1904 and the idols are believed to be expensive. The temple also has 14 acres of land in its name. Upon preliminary investigation, the police are suspecting that thieves had scaled the boundary wall around the temple to steal the idols.
Police officer Jaykishore Tiwari has reportedly informed the media that police teams are raiding known suspects in the area and they are hopeful of recovering the idols soon. Some media reports have claimed that the thieves have also stolen 10 smaller brass idols apart from the main idols. The local villagers are threatening protests if the police fail to catch the thieves soon.
Idol theft has been a consistent problem in temples of India. India Pride Project, a private organisation is attempting to bring back some ancient idols and artefacts that have ended up abroad. Recently, two ancient idols of Rajraja Chola and his wife that were stolen from the Brihadishwar temple in Tamil Nadu almost 50 years ago, were brought back due to the efforts of IPS officer Pon Manickavel.