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Lichhavi-era statue stolen from Lalitpur temple recovered

Locals celebrate as a stolen statue is recovered in Lalitpur, on Friday, February 11, 2022. Photo: Aryan Dhimal
Locals celebrate as a stolen statue is recovered in Lalitpur, on Friday, February 11, 2022. Photo: Aryan Dhimal

Kathmandu, February 11

A Lichhavi-era statue stolen from the Balkumari temple in Sunakothi of Lalitpur has been recovered after nearly three weeks of theft.

Lalitpur Chief District Officer Ghanashyam Upadhyaya says the statue was found near a temple behind the Classic Tower of Khumaltar, Lalitpur, this morning.

“A very powerful and prioritised investigation and locals’ alertness resulted in the recovery of the idol,” Upadhyaya says.

SSP Yagya Binod Pokharel, the chief of the Lalitpur Metropolitan Police Range, says the statue does not have any mark of destruction.

The statue stolen, dating back to the Lichhavi period (c 450–750 CE), was missing since January 23.

Officials had presumed the Lichhavi-era idol might have been stolen between 3 and 4 am that day. According to them, the statue had been lifted by cutting nine padlocks and breaking four gates.

A cash prize of Rs 500,000 had been announced for the people who inform the whereabouts of the idol.

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