Police Friday recovered a 500-year-old ‘Astadhatu’ idol from under a banyan tree near Danta riverbank, 1.5 km from Kuruan in Bargarh district. The idol was looted by miscreants four days ago from Kuruan-based Maa Uma Maheswari Temple.
Scores of devotees gathered around the tree to catch a glimpse of the idol after the news spread in the area. Devotees offered prayers and rejoiced in joy playing drums after the stolen idol was recovered. Later, Bargarh Town police seized the idol and handed it back to the temple’s chief priest Satyanarayan Dehuri.
According to reports, miscreants broke into the temple Tuesday night and looted the idol weighing 7 kg along with the donation box. Locals spotted the broken donation box Wednesday morning in a bush on the banks of Maheswari lake near the village while the idol was nowhere to be seen. The ‘Astadhatu’ idol was made of five kilogram of gold, locals said.
Police with the help of a forensic team and sniffer dogs launched a manhunt to nab the accused. Police had also detained some suspects but got no clues about the loot.
Meanwhile, a few youths of the village Friday morning noticed the idol under the banyan tree and alerted the temple priest. Investigation into the incident is on, police said.