Recovery of idols in Brahmaputra baffles Assam police

Photo of the recovered idols. Twitter/Assam Police

Recovery of 42 Hindu and Buddhist idols from the Brahmaputra river in Guwahati in the past 48-hours baffled Assam police personnel probing the incident.

One of the idols was first detected by a hotel employee, while he was taking bath in the mighty river behind the ancient Sukreswar temple here on Saturday afternoon. Police and state disaster response personnel, who were informed by the temple authorities carried out the search in the river but were stunned to find 42 idols. "The preliminary investigation suggests that the idols could have been stolen from various temples but were dumped in the river out of fear of being caught," said a police official. 

The idols included that of Shiva, Kali, Durga, Saraswati, Nandi, Ganesh, Buddha, and others. "One of the idols has been identified by a person but our efforts are on to trace the source of rest of the idols. We are in touch with the archaeology department to ascertain how old are these idols. But we are still not clear how these idols came here," Guwahati police commissioner, Deepak Kumar told reporters here.

Police had drawn flak after a centuries-old 'ashtadhatu' idol of Goddess Tara was stolen from the Ugratara temple situated at the heart of the city in November last year. The idol, however, was recovered in May this year in Nalbari district, about 80-km west of the city.

Director general of Assam Police (in-charge) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, who visited the spot on Sunday announced financial rewards of between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 5,000 to 15 police personnel and state disaster response force personnel in recognition of their work during recovery of the idols. "This incident proves how people can help police and the joint efforts can do good to the society," he said.

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