Hyderabad: Three antique idols about 600 years old with a market value of Rs 3 crore were seized from two inter-state traffickers on Saturday by the North Zone task force team. They operated as a gang and while two of them stole idols from temples, one kept guard, said V.V. Srinivasa Rao, Hyderabad police commissioner. The arrested persons were identified as Shaik Hyder, 25, a labourer, and Shaik Aziz, 24, a fruits trader, both from Bidar in Karnataka.
“The arrest was made based on credible information by the sleuths of commissioner’s task force, north zone team in a joint operation with the Kamareddy Town police. The cops cracked three cases pertaining to Hingol and Killari in Maharashtra and Kamareddy Town in Telangana.
Explaining their modus operandi, the commissioner said, “They travelled as a gang by bus or taxi and moved in rural areas. They broke open locks or latches of temple doors and stole idols. Meanwhile, their associates waited outside the temple premises and observed the surroundings in order to alert the men at work. After that, they sold the articles to antique idol smugglers.”
The apprehended persons were handed over to the Kamareddy Town police along with the seized material....