Nitish seeks CBI probe in Lord Mahavir idol theft case

Nitish seeks CBI probe in Lord Mahavir idol theft case

New Delhi: Bihar government on Tuesday recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the 2,600-year-old idol of Lord Mahavir from a Jain temple in Jamui district.

The state government made the request to the Centre on November 29, said Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. He further specified that the local police was already investigating the issue.

"The state police was probing the theft of the idol efficiently but since the CBI has a specialized wing to crack such cases, the state has recommended a probe by the premier investigating agency into the case," he said in an interview to a leading daily.

Expressing his concern over the theft, Nitish said that the state had taken up this task and would put in all efforts to recover the exquisite idol. The idol of 24th Tirthankar of Jains, Lord Mahavir, weighed 250 kg, worth crores of rupees, was stolen from a Jain temple adjoining Lachuar village in Jamui district on the night of November 27.

Viewing the importance of the matter, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has begun monitoring the growths in the investigation after the community leaders insisted them to intervene, said Ahmadabad based Pal Rasik Lal Shah, the president of Anandji Kalyanji Trust which is a pan-India representative organisation for Shwetambar Jain community.

"Possibly at whose behest (PMO)s the CBI was roped in to investigate the case, even after the state agencies have put in the optimum efforts to crack it but unfortunately without a result.", he added.

Citing the urgency and significance of the stolen Jain statue, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had a talk with Nitish Kumar on Saturday to get updates about the investigation.

The black stone statue kept in the temple was of huge value and under the security of Archaeological Survey of India. Chirag Paswan, the Jamui MLA, met Union Home Minister and sought for a speedy retrieval of the valuable statue.