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Police arrests fugitive DSP wanted in multi-Crore idols smuggling case

Thanjavur, Sep 14 (UNI) The suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Khader Batcha, who is wanted for smuggling of six antique panchaloha idols worth crores of rupees was arrested by a police team at Kumbakonam, here last night.
The tainted police officer, who is evading arrest since February last, after the Idol Wing Crime Investigation Department (CID) kept tracking his movements in the case, was nabbed from his relative’s house by a special police team under the supervision of A.G.Pon Manickavel, Inspector General of Police (additional charge), Idol Wing, CID, Chennai.
He was produced before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Court at Kumbakonam and remanded to judicial custody. He was lodged in Tiruchirapalli Central Prison.
Mr.Batcha, who was serving in the Tiruvallur district crime branch, was placed under suspension on June 29 based on an order from Madras High Court Justice R.Mahadeven. He went into hiding after his accomplice Subburaj (54), a Special Sub Inspector, who is also one of the accused in the case, was arrested on June 26.
Police said in 2008, Sundaramoorthy, a professional photographer who was running a studio in South Mada Street in Madurai and was involved in selling antique idols, had displayed photos of two idols – Lord Siva and Goddess Parvathi in his studio. Mr Batcha, who was then an Inspector and Mr.Subburaj, then a head constable in the Idol Wing, had quizzed the photographer over the photos displayed in his studio.
On getting inputs from Sundaramoorthy, both Mr.Batcha and Mr.Subburaj apprehended a farmer namely Arockiaraj, a native of Aladipatti in Virudhunagar district, who was trying to sell six panchaloha idols recovered from his agricultural land.
Without informing the seizure of antique idols to the higher officials, Mr.Batcha sold them to the International antique dealer Deenadayalan, for Rs 25 lakh. The idols found their way to Manhattan Gallery owner Subhash Kapoor and afterwardx to Hong Kong. Subhash Kapoor was arrested and presently lodged in Puzhal Prison in Chennai in connection with various idol theft and smuggling cases.
Later, Mr.Batcha was promoted as DSP and posted in Tiruvallur, while Subburaj was promoted as SSI with Chennai City Police. They have been charged with robbery with arms and have been booked for extortion, public servants unlawfully engaging in trade, as well as forgery, and under the provisions of the Antique and Art Treasures Act.
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