6 Assam temples robbed in 24 hrs, centuries-old idols stolen


November 25, 2018

Miscreants broke into the Siddheswar Devalaya in Sualkuchi on the outskirts of the city on Friday night, decamping with centuries-old Durga and Vishnu idols from the historic temple. Five other temples across the state were also looted in the last 24 hours. Police are yet to comment on whether the six robberies are connected.
The break-in into Siddheswar Devalaya – an ancient Shiva temple built during the reign of Ahom king Siva Singha – was discovered by a temple priest when he went there to perform his duties early on Saturday, residents said. Police rushed to the spot soon after being informed about the theft.
The Siddheswar Devalaya managing committee has demanded security deployment at the temple, owing to its rich historical significance. “The shocking vandalization of Assam’s historic temples has set alarm bells ringing. The idols looted from the temple are centuries-old and made of valuable metals. People are emotionally attached to them,” said committee president Gouranga Das.
Of the five other temples to have been looted in the last 24 hours, four are in the city’s Maligaon area and one is in central Assam’s Raha. Police said several idols and valuables dedicated to the deities were robbed from the temples.

Guwahati police commissioner Pradip Saloi said, “We have asked the concerned police officers in Guwahati to review the security requirements at various temples in the city and make necessary arrangements with the help of the temple management committees and locals.”
Last week, a thousand-year-old idol was stolen from the famous Ugratara temple in the city. Some miscreants who had been involved in the Ugratara idol theft have been arrested, but the stolen idol is yet to be recovered. Citizens are fuming over the failure of police to locate the idol, the centre of attraction at the Ugratara temple. The idol consisted of ashtadhatu (eight metals), including gold, and is believed to have been installed in 1044 AD during the rule of the Pala dynasty.
Kailash Sarma, a member of the Ugratara temple management committee, said they will approach lawyers’ associations and ask them not to fight for bail of the miscreants. “The metal-inscribed idols have high market value in antique markets abroad and miscreants are targeting such idols in various parts of the state,” he said.

Source : Times of India 



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