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Last updated: 11 June, 2008 - Published 17:50 GMT
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Rare Sri Lankan idol recovered

Statue of Murugan
Police Officials from Tamilnadu say a rare idol of lord Muruga from Sri Lanka has been seized from an individual in the Namakkal district.

The statue is from the Katharagama in the south of Sri Lanka as confirmed by the police.

The police also say that Archaeological experts have confirmed the idol to be 300 years old and made of 'panchalogam' ( a combination of five metals ) and is priceless.

The Deputy Inspector General of the Idol thefts wing of the Tamilnadu State Police, Arumugam told BBC Tamilosai that the idol was seized from an individual named Srinivasan who was trying to sell it in the local market.

The police claim they laid a trap and followed it for a month before seizing the idol and arresting the individual.

Identities reveal Sri Lankan origin

The DIG of Police also says that the crown, design and pattern of the idol represent traits of Sri Lanka.

This has been confirmed by the recognised archaeologists.

The arrested individual who has been remanded claims that it was given to him by a Sril Lankan requesting that it may be sold.

Idol is under safe custody of Thiruvanaikaval Temple

Based on the archaeological value the idol was quoted for a rate of five million Indian rupees(10 million Sri Lankan rupees)

Police say the idol seems not to have been from a temple in Sri Lanka.

However investigations are on and if needed the Government will get in touch with the Srilankan authorities the police official said.

The idol is now kept in the safe custody under the protection of armed guard at the famous Thiruvanaikkaval Temple in Tiruchy.

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