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Christie’s quizzed on antiques source

Jaipur (PTI): Police have interrogated a representative of an international auction house in India about the authenticity of Indian antiquities it had put under its hammer recently.

The police quizzed Mallika Sagar, representing Christie’s in India, on Friday regarding the source of certain idols and artefacts of Indian origin that appeared in the auction house’s catalogues, superintendent of police Anand Srivastava told reporters.

Sagar was also handed a questionnaire to answer by September 24, Srivastava said.

Names of two international auction houses — Christie’s and Sotheby’s — had cropped up during investigation in cases of theft and smuggling of antiques from various parts of Rajasthan following the arrest of antique smuggler Vaman Narayan Ghiya two months ago.

The police found photographs of two antique statues, allegedly stolen from Baran district in 1990 by Ghiya’s men, in Christie’s September 2000 catalogue.

They are now trying to ascertain Ghiya’s links with these auction houses, Srivastava said.

Ghiya is in police custody in connection with various cases against him in different districts and in Madhya Pradesh.

Desam legislator in stamp scam

Hyderabad: City legislator and former Telugu Desam minister Krishna Yadav has been taken into custody by a special investigating team of Maharashtra police for alleged involvement in the fake stamp paper scandal that broke early this year, reports our special correspondent.

Yadav was picked up from his residence after three days of interrogation and was flown to Pune via Bangalore. He was arrested following a warrant issued by a special judge of a Maharashtra crime control court. Yadav is likely to be produced in court on Monday.

The former minister, who was dropped by Andhra Pradesh chief minister . Chandrababu Naidu from the cabinet on the eve of municipal elections last year, is alleged to be a close associate of prime accused Mohammed Telgi.

State home minister T. Devender Gowd confirmed Yadav’s arrest on Saturday evening. Further details are expected soon, he told reporters.

Uneasy calm in Godhra

Ahmedabad: An uneasy calm prevailed in curfew-bound Godhra where communal clashes occurred on Friday. Trouble started when devotees passed through a minority community-dominated area during a Ganesh immersion procession, reports our correspondent.

“No untoward incident was reported today,” the district collector said. Authorities have identified some miscreants and action will be taken against them, he said.

New expressway

Chandigarh (PTI): The Haryana government plans to construct a 130-km-long Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway with Malaysian assistance. The Malaysian minister of works, Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu, accompanied by Malaysian officials and experts on highway planning, has met chief minister Om Prakash Chautala. The Malaysian team will submit a detailed proposal to the government and start work on the project immediately.

Drugs gang busted

Chandigarh (PTI): Haryana police have busted a gang indulging in the trade of spurious drugs at Sonipat. A police spokesman said the suspects —Satish, Jitender and Attar Singh — were arrested on Friday evening. The police also recovered spurious drugs worth Rs 70,000.

Inmates flee

Jaipur (PTI): Eight children facing charges of theft and other crimes have escaped from a juvenile home in Kota, police said here on Saturday. The children were found missing on Friday during a regular roll call of inmates, they said. A case has been registered with Bhimganj police station by the warden of the home. The boys apparently fled by breaking a window, the police said.

Bank looted

Meerut (PTI): Armed men stormed into a bank near here on Friday and escaped with Rs 7.31 lakh. The looters locked the employees in the strong room of the Machera village branch of Punjab National Bank, Meerut SSP Mukul Goel said. The employees were later rescued by two teachers, who came to the bank, 32 km from here, he said.

Tick

Actor Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured at an international film festival in Rabat next month. Actors and directors from other countries to be felicitated include American directors Ridley Scott and Oliver Stone.


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