Balasore (Odisha) Jan 22, The kingpin of an inter-state antique smuggling gang that recently stole an 11th century idol from a temple in Balasore district of Odisha was arrested in Uttar Pradesh today.
The 2.5 feet-long granite idol of Bajra Vairahi, weighing 70 kg, went missing from the temple in Nilagiri police station area of the district in December, SDPO Sudam Charan Sahu said.
A joint team of Odisha and Uttar Pradesh police officers nabbed Suresh Yadav (50) from Dwarikapuri area in Bijnor district of the northern state.
“During our investigation, we found out that Yadav is the mastermind of the gang. His number was traced to Uttar Pradesh. With help from the UP officers, we arrested him,” Sahu said.
The idol, however, has not been recovered as yet, he rued.
“Yadav has confessed to have stolen the idol along with another gang member, who is still at large,” he said, adding that police are on the lookout for his accomplices.