12th century idol stolen from Arunachal Pradesh recovered from Majnu ka Tila
By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, June 6: Delhi Police have recovered a 12th century idol of Terton Pema Lingpa from Majnukaa Tila, reported stolen from the house of the Head Lama from Arunachal Pradesh.
Police have identified the culprit as Ngawang Tsundue (29) and his live-in partner, Lobsang Gakey Sherpa (26), reports The Indian Express.
The duo has planned to sell the 900-year-old idol for a whopping 1.4 crore rupees but a tip off from their potential buyer to the police led to their arrest as police laid a trap near the Majnu Ka Tila gurdwara, their rendezvous point.
“On June 4, we received information that the accused were trying to sell the 900-year-old idol in the Majnu ka Tila grey market for Rs 1.4 crore. The idol was supposed to be smuggled to Tibet,” DCP (crime) Madhur Verma was quoted as saying in the report.
Upon interrogation the police have learned that Tsundue has come to India form Tibet in 2009-2010. He lived in Dharamshala, where he met the daughter of the Head Lama of Sangyeling monastery in Tawang, married her in 2011 but got divorced last year.
The police have further disclosed that the accused has stolen the idol of Terton Pema Lingpa to take revenge for the sour marriage to tarnish the Lama’s name.
“The accused was aware that the Lama’s family had gone to attend a function in Kullu and used the opportunity to steal the statue from his home,” the police have disclosed.
The theft of the idol has reportedly caused social unrest in Arunachal.