Crores worth emerald lingam idol seized by Police in Salem

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COIMBATORE: An emerald lingam idol weighing nearly 7 kg and worth approximately Rs.25 crore was seized by the idol wing said Mr A G Pon Manickavel, Inspector General of Police, Idol Wing. The idol was one of the most valuable piece recovered by the team, he said. A team of idol wing acting on a tipoff that a gang was planning to take an emerald lingam from Tharamangalam in Salem to Coimbatore international airport by road and smuggle the high value piece out of the country. On Saturday the team acted very swiftly and held vehicle checks at Paal Pannai. The Police signalled to stop an SUV, which ignored and sped past the team around 2.30 pm. The Police caught the vehicle after a hot chase. When the Police team checked the SUV the team found and seized the emerald idol and arrested five persons travelling in the vehicle, the IG said. Police arrested the accused and identified them as R Valli alias Mary (49), her brother A Mariappan (47) and her accomplices, P Srinivasan (35), R Saravanan (27) and G Kumaresan (28), all residents of Perumal Temple Adivaram near Paal Pannai on Salem Steel Plant Road. The team found during an inquiry few months ago that the lingam was stolen from a Siva temple in Tiruvarur a few months ago. The team received information about the gang and their activities. The IG said, “We tried to arrest them twice, but they managed to escape” and added that they finally arrested the gang in their third attempt on Saturday. Singapore and Sharjah were the only destinations to which international flights were being operated from Coimbatore and efforts were on to trace the destination of the idol, Police sources say. The help of archaeologists has been sought to evaluate the age of the emerald lingam and the temple from where it was stolen.  ]]>

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