SAHARSA: Concerned over the rampant theft of ancient idols and valuable artefacts lying uncared in temples in the remote areas, Bihar government has finally geared up its machinery to ensure foolproof security of the monuments and other precious objects of cultural heritage.

The government has constituted a two-man committee in every district comprising the DM as chairman and the SP as member. The committee will coordinate between the locals and police officials at ground level and different stakeholders, including the religious trusts, temple management committees and temple priests.

In compliance with the government notification (no. 10065/October 25, 2016), Saharsa SP, in his letter on February 4, 2017, has directed all the police officers in charge of various police stations to keep a close watch on the idols of deities and other antiquities and keep in contact with the temple priests during their regular night patrolling duties.

Sources said the state government has directed the district administration to prepare police station-wise and district-wise list of important temples and the artefacts preserved there. The list which will be maintained by the two-man committee should specifically mention the movable and immovable property of the temple concerned, the names of deities installed and worshipped, the type of metals and estimated cost of the statues. The list will also incorporate the names of caretakers and their photographs. The committee has been empowered to make adequate security arrangements in selected temples where valuable important monuments are preserved and are lying unprotected.

The SP and the officers of the economic offences wing keep strict vigil on the gangs of idol thieves and smugglers and conduct raids on such interdistrict and interstate gangs in coordination with their counterparts in other districts or the states.

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