CHENNAI: Two days after 54 stone idols were seized on Tuesday from the house of the suspected idol smuggler Deenadayalan’s house in Alwarpet, sleuths of the Idol Wing CID attached to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) have seized 37 more metal idols, 47 Tanjore paintings and wooden artifacts from two rooms in the house on Thursday.
After receiving permission from the court to conduct raid on the house, the sleuths conducted a six-hour raid in which 34 different idols, including bronze and copper, were seized. During the raid, archaeologists were also present and said the idols belonged to the Chola period. A few idols that were sculpted together were found separated.
It is reported that the smuggler might have separated the idols and created a historical story to the buyer to pave the way for more demand for the other half of the idol and sell it for a higher price.
However, sources said since there are many rooms in the house, the raid might continue even on Friday. On Wednesday, a notice was pasted outside the residence of the main suspect’s house directing him to appear in person. The team headed by IGP Pon Manickavel has conducted the raids and seizure for three days based on a tip off about the idols being transported for smuggling. The main suspect is believed to have stolen the idols from temples in various places and tried to smuggle them from the country. Deenadayalan belonged to Andhra Pradesh and set up an art gallery in his wife’s name in Chennai in 1965.