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Current events in the Gaudiya world, or the world out there, as long as it's relevant.

Theft of murtis in W.B. - in organized racketeering?

nabadip - Sat, 02 Jul 2005 00:02:16 +0530
Stolen sixth century idol recovered

Pioneer News Service/ Raipur

Six century statue of Haritika Devi has been recovered from Kamrod Village of Dhamatari District. When the police recovered the idol they found the people were worshipping the statue believing it to be an idol of Goddess Parvati with Lord Ganesha.

Incidentally, the three feet statue of Haritika also Tara Devi was excavated in May. It was reported missing from the famous Buddhist Centre of Sirpur, about 84 km from the State Capital Raipur. The police said it was recovered from Kamrod Village in Dhamatari District on Wednesday.

The Police said that people in village were worshipping the statue for last two days considering it as an idol of Goddess Parvati.

They wrongly identified the child in Haritika's hands as that of Lord Ganesha. An inter-state gang is suspected to have been behind the theft.

Though five persons have been identified no arrests have so far been made in this connection. Soon after the reports of the idol theft came in, the borders of the State was sealed. Police set up a special team to conduct an intensive combing operation recover the idol.

It was finally recovered on Wednesday and brought to the State Capital. Archaeologists who excavated the statue have said that it was for the first time that a full-size idol of Haritika was found in Asia.
dasanudas - Sat, 02 Jul 2005 00:29:31 +0530

The recent news from Navadwip[ - Mayapore:

The installed deity of Dadharani, Nanda kishore , Gaur- Nitai and Lakshmi devi has been stolen from temple of NandaKishore Ray situated near Hulor Ghat of Mayapore. These deities are almost 250 years old. Now devotees and police dept. are anxious about the security of the deities in around 500 Math and temples in Navadwip Mayapore area. It is said that those deities were family deities of king of Jessore now in bangladesh.

nabadip - Sun, 03 Jul 2005 14:04:45 +0530
Temple theft racket

Pranesh Sarkar in Suri, the Statesman, Kolkata

July 1. —— The Birbhum district police is spending sleepless nights ever since an antique theft racket begun operating in the area in the last few months. Antique, valuable idols and golden ornaments have been stolen from the ancient temples in Bolpur in the last couple of months. Though residents lodged a complaint with the local police station immediately after each of these rbberies, the criminals have not been arrested yet, nor have the stolen goods been recovered.

The first temple robbery took place more than a month back, when the Narayan temple of the Sarkar family at Surul village near Bolpur was raided, and antique idols and golden ornaments worth about Rs 5 lakhs were stolen. Some days ago another attempt was made, again, at a Kali temple of the Sarkar family at Sriniketan, but no valuables were stolen because no antique idol or ornament was kept there. However the break-in at the temple has sparked of tension in the area, with locals alleging that faith, culture and history is being repeatedly jolted by these attacks. Residents blocked the Bolpur-Suri road for hours demanding that the matter be properly investigated. On their demand, a dog squad was deployed to try and get clues to the identity of the burglars, but it failed to yield any result.

Recently another ancient temple at Jalundi near Bolpur was robbed, and a valuable, antique Madanmohan idol and gold jewellery worth a few lakh rupees stolen. This time too the police failed to solve the case. The failure of the police, coupled with the repeated thefts have given rise to panic in the area. Residents frustrated with the failure of the police are alleging that the inefficiency of the police has given the burglars the run of the area.

Senior police officers suspect that a single racket is responsible for all the thefts. Birbhum police superintendent, Mr Akhil Roy, said that they are trying their best to nab the culprits. “Investigations are on, though we cannot disclose our findings right now. We can only say that we have got some some clues and are working on them.”