Tuesday May 21, 2019
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Antiquity Theft: Police seizes a House full of Treasure Trove in Tamil Nadu

Over 200 artifacts, including 49 bronzes, 71 stone carvings and 96 rare paintings were seized during the raid.

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Antiquity theft (Representational Image). Image source: mosaicrooms.org
  • The raid led to the seizure of over 200 artifacts, including 49 bronzes, 71 stone carvings and 96 rare paintings
  • The raid lasted for three days and resulted in finding a treasure trove of artifacts
  • 101 antiquities were stolen between 2000 and 2016 from 3,650 protected historical monuments around the country

CHENNAI: After the infamous arrest of Subhash Kapoor at Frankfurt airport in 2011, the people of India have become aware of how their ancient treasures and idols are looted and sold abroad. A tip-off from an informant about “some unusual activities” going on at Govindaraj Deenadayalan’s house, led to the seizure of over 200 artifacts, including 49 bronzes, 71 stone carvings and 96 rare paintings.

Deenadayalan’s residence in Alwarpet, Chennai and a rented godown were raided by the sleuths of the Idol Wing CID of the Tamil Nadu Police’s Economic Offences Wing on the basis of information that hoards of antique artifacts were stored there with no valid documents. The raid lasted for three days from May 31 and resulted in finding a treasure trove of artifacts, said the Frontline.in report.

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Two of the idols were 1,000 to 1,200 years old, and belong to the Chola and Hoysala dynasties. According to the Frontline report, Pon. Manickavel, the IG who is personally investigating the case, said that they never expected to find so many antiques from a private dealer.

The 11th-12th century bronze Chola idol of Saint Manikkavachakar that was recovered. Image Source: The Hindu

The police struck at a time when Deenadayalan was desperate as he could not transport his idols to buyers in Mumbai on time. Time is required to collect the documentary evidence to prove that the artifacts belonged to a particular temple or place. When the investigation transcends the country’s borders, it is hard to make the case as the law in India demands a case to be charge-sheeted in 60 days.

Many operators have escaped the law since the prosecutors could not prove complicity in the crime as the stolen goods could not be recovered from abroad. Art lovers also point out that the restitution of statues need evidence that the stolen artifacts belong to a particular temple.

Govindaraj Deenadayalan (left), the antiquities discovered from his house (right). Image Source: Indian Express

“For instance, priceless antique pieces have been stolen from various temples across Tamil Nadu. But, sadly, none of these stolen properties from our temples has any documentary proof of ownership and proof of provenance, though the HR and CE Department claims that it has started collecting and documenting the same now” says Pon. Manickavel to Frontline.

Determined to plug these loopholes, the IG has decided to be the complainant. The Frontline report adds that Pon. Manickavel is confident of breaking the backbone of this well-organised international black market in antique idols from temples in Tamil Nadu.

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With 200 stolen antiquities returning to India, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the US, it is to be wondered how much more of our heritage lies outside our country, said a DNA report.

According to the ministry of culture records, 101 antiquities were stolen between 2000 and 2016 from 3,650 protected historical monuments around the country, states a dnaIndia report. When the unprotected monuments across the country are considered, there are 4,115 cases of ‘cultural property’ stolen in 2010-2014 with 3,000 of them unsolved. The dnaIndia report also suggests that over 10,000 objects have been stolen in the past 10 years.

-prepared by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @ajkrish14

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When Can You Claim Against The Police?

It is important that you understand the occasions that you can make a claim against a police officer who has treated you unfairly

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Police arrests protestors at Oxford Circus in London, Friday, April 19, 2019. The group Extinction Rebellion is calling for a week of civil disobedience against what it says is the failure to tackle the causes of climate change. VOA

The police force are there to protect the general public from crime and make sure that those who need to be arrested are. Of course, it is possible for a police officer to make a mistake or to go against the rules and this is something which needs to be addressed.

Here, we are going to discuss some of the events that can lead to a claim against the police. Keep reading if you think that you have been treated unfairly and are considering your grounds for a claim.

Wrongful Arrest

Have you been wrongfully arrested? Police officers need to have reasonable grounds to be able to make an arrest lawfully but if they didn’t have this when you were arrested, then you might be able to make a claim against them. Claims against the police officers who have unlawfully arrested you and taken your freedom can often lead to financial compensation. Of course, you will need to get in contact with a solicitor who can put this request through for you and ensure that you were in fact wrongfully arrested.

Assault By Police Officer

No one deserves to be assaulted by a police officer and so if you have been a victim of an assault by a member of the police force then you might be eligible to make a claim against them. In this situation, the claim depends on whether the police officer used more force than was reasonable against you. This type of claim can be difficult to make as there is often very little proof on an event like this.

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School police officers look on as students leave Columbine High School, April 16, 2019, in Littleton, Colo. (Representational image).VOA

If there are any CCTV cameras that have captured the event or witnesses then you might be able to make a claim against the officer who assaulted you.

When Can You Not Claim?

It is also important to note the times where you can complain against a police officer but you will not necessarily receive any sort of financial compensation for it. This includes times when a police officer has made a false statement, they have caused loss of your property or they have used their position for private benefits. On top of this, you’ll find that you can make a complaint against an officer who has failed to attend the scene of a crime promptly if they are on duty and were asked to do this.

Also Read- A Quick Guide to White Collar Crime

Final Verdict

It is important that you understand the occasions that you can make a claim against a police officer who has treated you unfairly. There is a big difference between making a claim and making a complaint, so you need to understand this before moving forward.

If you have been wrongfully arrested or have been assaulted by a police officer, you should make sure that get in touch with a solicitor who can help you to get the justice that you deserve. Follow our advice and you should be able to respond in the right way to the situation in the future.