CHENNAI:The Idol Wing of the State police’s Economic Offences Wing has traced eight idols that were stolen from the temples of Tamil Nadu to the popular Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM) in Singapore.
The metal idols currently at the ACM, all of them made of panchaloha, are Dancing Sambandar and Vishnu from the later Chola period, as well as Hanuman from the 9th century.
Senior officials say they have reasons to believe that the eight were stolen from the derelict temples of the State and it has been corroborated by the information notorious international idol smuggler Subhash Chandra Kapoor provided. However, despite this breakthrough, nothing has moved forward since, officials admitted.
Sources in the wing alleged that HR & CE officials were remaining silent over the missing idols, concerned that departmental action may be initiated against them.
Officials here said Somaskanda, a remarkable piece of craftsmanship from the later Chola period, measuring over half-a-metre long and weighing over 25 kg, could be the idol stolen from Siva Kolundeeswarar temple in Sivankoodal near Sriperumbudur in Kancheepuram district.
It was a Singapore resident who helped the officials identify the idol, while the wing subsequently traced the other seven idols, all on display at the ACM, through information provided by Kapoor who sold it to the museum.