Gang caught with antique Buddha idol

The SR Nagar police on Sunday arrested a gang of five, including two from Telangana, while they were allegedly trying to sell a Buddha statue outside a hotel on RRMR road.

The accused, identified as Panchamurthy Raghu, 45, Uday Kumar, 37, Freddy Dsouza, 44, Sharan Nayar, 41, and Prasanna M.K., 39, were caught red-handed minutes before they were handing over the idol to their clients.

The police recovered the 38-cm statue, said to be 200-years-old, kept in a suitcase. The probe revealed that the accused had bought the statue from their contact, identified as Srikanth from Hyderabad, for ₹30 lakh and smuggled it into city to sell it for over ₹1 crore.

The police suspect that the accused had stolen the idol from somewhere and efforts are on to track down Srikanth. The police are now seeking the help of experts from the Archaeology Department for their opinion on the seized idol.

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