Chennai/Thanjavur: Hardly three weeks after the idol wing sleuths seized an antique maragatha (emerald) Siva Lingam in Salem, another such lingam, which is smaller in size, was seized in Govindapuram in Kumbakkonam district on Monday. Police arrested two persons, said to be members of DMK, on Tuesday after recovering from them the lingam, which is believed to stolen.
The arrested were identified as S.Kaliyamurthy (71) and Vijaya Ragavan (47), both residents of Kurichi village near Thiruvidai Maruthur. The two were allegedly trying to sell the lingam for Rs 50 lakh to a trader when the police stepped in.
Kaliyamurthy claimed that he was in possession of the lingam and was worshiping it in his house. “The maragatha lingam weighed about 300 gm and height was less than 10 inches. We verified the seized lingam with jewellery stores in Kumbakonam and found it was an antique,” noted inspector general of police AG Pon. Manickavel. The Idol wing has also seized the car in which the idol was being transported.
Though Kaliyamurthy claimed that he was worshipping it at home, police believe it is a stolen idol. We are yet to find out from where it was stolen, police said.
The police officials are not sure about the value of the lingam in the international market. We have informed the officials of the Archeological Survey of India and sought their help to examine the idol and assess the value, noted an idol wing police officer.
Only on March 17, the idol wing sleuths had seized maragatha lingam weighing over `7kg worth over Rs 25 crore in Tharamangalam near Salem, and five persons including a woman, were arrested....