Salepur: Cuttack Rural Police on Thursday busted a major idol smuggling racket and recovered an ancient Buddha idol, which was stolen from Fakirpatna village under Nischintakoili police limits on July 7 earlier this year, from Mathura area of Uttar Pradesh.
“We have traced an inter-state racket involved in smuggling of antique idols from various parts of the state during our investigation in to the loot of a rare ancient Buddha idol from Fakirpatna,” Cuttack Rural SP, Madhav Chandra Sahu said. Preliminary investigations revealed that the criminals had valued the idol at around Rs 12 lakh and were also mulling to smuggle it abroad at a price around Rs 80 lakh.
According to police sources, a local identified as Dushashan Sahu of Puri-Nimapara area used to provide all the information. Sahu who earlier worked at a lock factory in Aligarh had connections with several criminals in UP and together they used to loot idols from different parts of Odisha, informed sources.
“After coordinating with UP police, few criminals involved in the loot incident including kingpin Suresh Yadav were arrested and they have been brought on transit remand to Odisha. After producing them in Salepur JMFC court we are interrogating them,” Sahu said.