This was the first such case across the country, in which the smugglers had changed the statue itself. For complete disclosure of the case, the police started an intelligence operation which was named Operation Black Hole.
The statue stolen from Chittorgarh 25 years ago was handed over to the Archaeological Department today.
25 years ago Chittorgarh Stolen from the ancient Ghateshwar temple in Barauli Nataraja Union Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal handed over the statue to the Archaeological Department. The story of this statue going from here to London and bringing back from there espionage Film is not less than The special thing is that the Government of India has fought a long legal battle to bring this Nataraja statue back to the country between the 9th and 10th centuries. It returned to the country in 2020, but due to legal complications, it has now been handed over to the Archaeological Department.
What happened 25 years ago?
The uproar that started from Chittorgarh on the night of 16 February 1998 spread across the country in no time. The reason was like this, the idol of Nataraja had been stolen from the Shiva temple located at Barauli in Chittorgarh district last night itself. The police could not understand anything, nor could they find any clue about the thieves. The police was beating hands and feet in the dark, but nothing happened. Suddenly, after 8 months, the happiness of the police knew no bounds when the stolen idol of Nataraja wrapped in a cloth was found at some distance from the temple itself.
Fake statue found, original sold
The idol was found, but the police continued their investigation. After almost two years, the police arrested an accused from Jaipur. During interrogation, he made such a disclosure that the ground slipped under the feet of the police. The thief told that the idol of Nataraja found by the police is fake and it was prepared exactly by the sculptor. The aim was that the police found the idol and could send it abroad. The thief told that four people together had committed the theft. The original statue was sold for around Rs 20 lakh.
Made a century ago, the statue of Natarajan returned to India from England.
It was handed over to the local Archaeological Department in the company of Honorable Union Minister of State for Culture, Parliamentary Affairs and Mahamandaleshwar Uttam Swami. pic.twitter.com/dEIY6Xzh05
— CP Joshi (@cpjoshiBJP) January 16, 2023
Accused caught from operation black hole
This was the first such case across the country, in which the smugglers had changed the statue itself. For complete disclosure of the case, the police started an intelligence operation which was named Operation Black Hole. When the accused were arrested, they clarified that the statue has been sold abroad for Rs 85 lakh. During that time, the name of the infamous idol smuggler Ghiya gang came to the fore in the case of idol theft. The Archaeological Department also kept trying on its behalf. Meanwhile, it was learned that the stolen statue is in a private museum in London. Vinay Gupta, the then director of the Archaeological Department, went to London to confirm this.
Then the process of bringing back started
After it was confirmed in the archaeological survey that this idol of Nataraja is the same which was stolen from the Shiva temple. After this the process of bringing it back started. The officers talked to the UK government. After this, this statue was kept in India House, the office of the Indian High Commission in London. After this, this statue was brought to India in 2020. It was handed over to the ASI on Monday.
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