Noida (UP), May 19 (PTI) Police in Uttar Pradesh's Hathras district have arrested four people and recovered three 'ashtadhatu' idols of deities that they had robbed in 2019 from a temple after holding its priest and his wife hostage, officials said on Wednesday.
The idols are estimated to belong to the 18th-19th century and pegged worth crores of rupees in international markets, the district police said, adding the accused were held following a gunfight on Tuesday night.
“The dacoity at the temple was committed by the four accused on the night of November 27, 2019 in Purdilnagar town of Sikandrarau police area of the district. The temple priest and his wife were held hostage by them and the ashtadhatu idols taken away by them,” Hathras Superintendent of Police Vineet Jaiswal said.
An FIR was lodged in the case and continuous search operations by police teams and special operations group (SOG) led to the recovery, he said.
“The accused were held following a gunfight with the police and led to the recovery of the idols. Some illegal firearms were also seized from their possession,” Jaiswal said.
Those held have been identified as Pramod Jatav (40), Aashiq alias Gulla (22), Deepu Singh (21) and Javed Khan (22), police said, adding some more of their partners have been identified and would be nabbed soon.
The police teams involved in the recovery have been rewarded with a cash of Rs 25,000, the police chief said. PTI KIS AQS AQS