2 stolen Buddha statues recovered in Jharkhand

2 stolen Buddha statues recovered in Jharkhand

DAYS AFTER two stone statues of the Buddha were stolen from a recently excavated monastery, believed to be at least 900 years old, in the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand, police arrested five people from Ranchi for the theft and recovered the statues.

Police said the five defendants conducted reconnaissance at the excavation site in Bahoranpur village in Hazaribagh on March 3, focusing on the two statues. On March 21, the statues disappeared, according to the complaint of the superintendent archaeologist of ASI Patna, Rajendra Dehuri. Based on the complaint, an FIR was registered.

Hazaribagh SP Karthik S said: “We scanned CCTV images, set up technical surveillance, and interrogated a Kumar Sujit from Ranchi. He led us to the other defendants and the recovery of the stolen statues. ” Arrests were made there on Thursday.

Police said another defendant, Sanjay Aggarwal, who claims to be a seller of Ayurvedic medicines, and Kumar Sujit learned of the statues from the newspapers and “hatched a plan to sell them on the black market at high prices.”

Police said that after conducting the reconnaissance, the defendants met on the middle night of March 20 and 21 at the scene. “They took two 1.5-foot Buddha statues and fled on motorcycles to the Hazaribagh bus stop, from where they took a bus to Ranchi. They had planned to sell the statues after the hunt cooled down, ”said a police source.

ASI had discovered the monastery in Burhani village in February, excavating 10 stone statues of Buddha and Tara. He also found a portable image that appeared to be the Shaivite deity Maheswari, indicating cultural assimilation in the area. ASI officials had said the monastery was a “great find”: it is on the ancient road to Varanasi, 10 km from Sarnath, where the Buddha delivered his first sermon. They said the presence of the Tara statues showed the possible proliferation of the Vajrayana form of Buddhism in Jharkhand.