In a major breakthrough, the Himachal Pradesh Police on Saturday recovered four antique ‘ashtdhatu’ idols, valued at several crores in the international market, which had been stolen from a historic temple in Shimla district and arrested two Nepalese. The idols, which were believed to be over 250 years old, were stolen from Shirgul Maharaj temple in Nerwa town in Chopal area on early Friday. The arrested were identified as Chatter Bahadur and Dipender, both hailing from Nepal, a police official told IANS. He said hunt for the third accused is on. In the past 15 years, over 100 thefts from temples have been reported, over 20 of them notable ones, according to police records.
Police suspect the involvement of Nepalese migrants largely and foreign antique smugglers.