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Police unearth interstate idol theft racket

Balasore, Sep 19 (UNI) Nilgiri police have busted an interstate idol and antique theft racket with the arrest of seven persons.
Nilgiri police station IIC Nalita Modi said out of the seven, three were from Delhi and one from Haryana.
Modi said all the seven were booked under section 399 and 402 of IPC and forwarded to court yesterday.
The court remanded them into jail custody after rejecting their bail applications.
Police identified the accused as Kuanarjit Singh (52) Naresh Kumar(29), ,Raj Kumar (39) all three belong to Delhi, Raj Kumar (37) of Haryana , Dipak Bhehera,(40) of Dhenkanal district, Manmath Malik (55) of Balasore and Omkarnath Bramhachari alias Hanuman Baba of Kendrapara district .
However, three other members of the gang residing in a hotel managed to flee, police said.
All the seven were caught by the villagers in the foothill of Devanagiri hill of Nilgiri on Sunday night while moving suspiciously in the area at around 11 pm.
Initially, the villagers thrashed them assuming them as child lifters and later police rescued them from the clutches of the mob .
Further investigation and interrogation by police revealed that they were caught while doing reccein the Nilgiri area to loot an antique idol, Sundura Gouri .
As per the plan after stealing the idol from the temple , Omkanath Brahmachari was to perform special puja before exporting to other state .
“A person from Cuttack district who resides in Delhi had masterminded the antique loot. He along with two others are at large,” said the IIC
Last year on December 26 night the miscreants after barging into the sanctum sanatorium of the Ayodhya temple by breaking the wall and decamped with the two and half feet high black granite stone idol of Vajra Vairahi , weighing nearly 70 kg.
Although Police arrested one Suresh Yadav,(50) of Dwarakapuri under Etah district in connection with the theft of the idol on January 19 , but failed to recover the idol yet.
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