Monday, July 14, 2014

Theft of Buddha's sculpture from Lohjara (Gaya District)

The Buddha's statue at village Lohjara that is now stolen.
On the night of 1st July, a gang of sculpture thieves stole a 4ft Buddha’s sculpture in Earth-touching posture (8th-12th CE) from Lohjara village in Gaya district.  This was the second theft in two months in Gaya district. On 14th of May a sculpture of Buddha was stolen fromMaher, a remote village in Gaya district in a similar manner.

The sculpture at Lohjara was kept in open under a tree. On the night of  the theft, a villager noticed a four-wheeler moving in the village at around 11 pm. Though, it was something unusual but he didn't suspect any foul play. People of Maher too shared a similar story. These Buddha statues are usually more than 300 kgs in weight and needs 8 to 10 people to remove them. These thefts suggest that there is an organized gang of thieves operating in the area.

The volume of such reported and unreported cases and such cases not going beyond the police FIR (First Information Reported) level raises some eyebrows. Should we believe that Intelligence Bureau and unofficial network of spies of Government are not finding any leads? Or maybe they are simply not interested or the illegal trade that is flourishing in connivance with Government authorities. 

Pandey Ji (in white kurta ), the caretaker of the sculpture. (picture from 2012)

Theft of Lohjara Buddha statute registered with ART LOSS REGISTER

The link to ART LOSS REGISTER registration of Lohajara Buddha