CHENNAI: A police sub inspector, one of the accused in an idol smuggling case, was arrested by Idol wing of the Economic Offences Wing on Monday.
The arrest was made a day before the Madras High Court heard a petition seeking transfer of the case from the Idol Wing to CBCID.
Justice R Mahadevan, before whom the petition from advocate ‘elephant’ G Rajendran came up for hearing on Tuesday, orally directed the Inspector-General of Police, Idol Wing Pon Manickavel to appear before him with all records of the case, on June 29.
According to Rajendran, he found a cover kept under his car wiper on April 12 last, which stated that one Arockiaraj of Aladipatty in Aruppukottai taluk found two panchaloha idols -- Sivagamy Amman and Siva Parvathy -- on a pedestal. Instead of handing them over to the police, they tried to sell the same to a foreigner in collusion with one Santhanam of the same village. However, two cops caught them red-handed and handed them over to police inspector Kader Batcha.
The accused sub inspector Subburaj, 54, currently serving in Koyambedu police station, was serving as a head constable in 2008 in the Idol Wing when he, along with inspector Kader Batcha, is said to have obtained the antique idols from the farmer and sold them to another smuggler Deenadayalan, who is currently facing many idol smuggling cases, for `15 lakh.
The incident surfaced only in January when the idol wing registered a case against Kader Batcha, Subburaj and a few others.
The case did not see much progress and in the course of years Kader Batcha was promoted as Deputy Superintendent of Police and is now serving in Tiruvallur district. Subburaj was promoted as a sub inspector of police and was serving in Koyambedu police station.
While Subburaj was arrested on Monday, the Idol Wing officers said Kader Batcha was absconding.
A case has been filed under IPC provisions for alleged offences including robbery, or dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt, said Inspector-General of Police A G Ponn Manickavel.
On Tuesday, the petitioner informed the court that the case is now handled by an Inspector, who cannot effectively handle the same as the accused Kader Batcha is a DSP.
Contending that it was a case of fence grazing the crop, the petitioner prayed the court to transfer the case to CBCID.