Bhandaripokhari: Four unknown persons have allegedly stolen an idol from Raghunathjew temple on the premises of Boudhabihar in Sholampur panchayat in Bhadrak Friday afternoon. It was suspected to be the handiwork of an antiquity racket. Notably, the idol had been stolen from this place in 2016.
The priest of the temple was busy worshiping the deities when four youths came on a bike and took away a 10-inch long idol of Tara. The youths were speaking in Hindi.
The priest came to know that the idol was stolen and intimated villagers. The villagers said that sanctity of the temple was flouted by the idol theft. They organised a purification ritual of the temple. Surprisingly, no complaint was filed at the police station.
It may be noted here that an idol had been stolen by four unidentified persons from Boudhabihar in 2016. Then, a complaint had been filed at the police station. However, that case had not yet been cracked by police.
Locals said, sculptures and statues of Buddhist culture were scattered at the place. There have been few measures to protect and preserve the antiques, locals lamented.
In the absence of these measures and security provisions in the temple, statues of Buddhist culture become a target of the antique racket.
Locals demanded that the district administration and the culture department pay heed to protection of ancient statues in a museum.