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Rs 3cr idols recovered

Siliguri, Dec.19: The preventive wing of Naxalbari customs division today seized eight antique idols worth nearly Rs 3 crore from a secluded area of the Adhikary railway station near India-Nepal border this morning.

The idols of Hindu gods and goddesses were found in three jute bags. Customs officials said the history department of North Bengal University had confirmed that the idols were from the eighth century to 12th century.

The raid was conducted by a team led by the superintendent of Naxalbari customs division, Sandip Banerjee, and inspector Sumita Purakayastha after they got a tip-off. Adhikary is 30km from here.

“Two of the idols are made of terracotta. One is a sandstone idol. Teachers in the history department of NBU checked the idols and said they belonged to a period from the eighth century to 12th century. The price of the seized articles is Rs 2.85 crore,” said Banerjee.

He said an organised gang might have been trying to smuggle the idols into Nepal.