Tamil Nadu idol wing police have commenced the background check of six idols seized from Swamimalai in Thanjavur.
The police acted on a tip-off that a person, Ramalingam who is the owner of Shritharasan Art Metals in Thiruvalanchuzhi had many antique metals in his procession, and conducted searches on Wednesday.
The police stumbled upon six metallic idols and questioned Ramalingam on the source of these idols and the necessary documents. He was, however, not able to give details and did not have any authentic document to show the ownership or legality of the idols.
Ramalingam was taken to custody and produced before a court in Kumbakonam and was remanded in judicial custody.
A senior officer told IANS that Ramalingam had entered into a contract with a Durban-based firm for the export of these idols but the company later backtracked as there were no proper documents for these idols.
The Archeological Survey of India has also not cleared the idols as there was suspicion on whether these idols were antique or not. Police said that they are tracing the idols and how Ramaligam got in procession the six idols. The police are also searching the list of missing idols from temples in the state and adjoining states to ascertain whether any of these idols were stolen property from temples.
It may be recalled that the Tamil Nadu idol wing had recently brought back an idol stolen and shipped to the US decades ago.