BALASORE: Two antique idols worth crores of rupees were stolen from a Shiva temple in Ayodhya village here on Thursday night. Unidentified miscreants took away two rare idols of Bajra Tara and Lord Buddha kept in Uttareswar Shiva temple.
The idols and the temple were unearthed in 1950. Police registered a case on Friday after a complaint was lodged by the temple’s priest Jagatananda Mishra.
Mishra said when he arrived at the temple, he saw its door broken and idols stolen. Price of the rare three-foot Bajra Tara idol would be around ` six crore in the international market. Researchers claimed that it was one of three idols available in the world.
A team of scientific officials and dog squad visited the spot. Though police are yet to get any clue, involvement of an international gang is suspected behind the theft of the precious idols.
Earlier, antique idols worth over ` four crore were stolen from the same village which houses a museum of idols maintained by the Culture Department.
The idols were under the custody of the district administration.
Former Naib Sarpanch of Ayodhya Patitapaban Mohanty said he had been writing letters to the Collector, Culture Secretary, Superintendent of State Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to preserve these valuable idols since the previous incident was reported. But no step has been taken yet.