Two held with idols worth Rs.20 crore

Lucknow, May 27 (IANS) Two men have been arrested from an Uttar Pradesh town with two ‘ashtdhatu’ (eight-medal) antique idols worth Rs.20 crore in the international market, police said Thursday.

Shahabuddin and Ashok Prasad opened fire as they were nabbed Wednesday evening in Taryasujan, 350 km from here.

‘Acting on a tip-off, we intercepted the two. They opened fire at us. After a one-hour gunfight, we managed to arrest them,’ police inspector Nitish Srivastava told reporters.

‘We are yet to ascertain the place from where the two men brought the idols as they gave contradictory statements. They are being interrogated.’

The two have confessed that they have been operating for the last five years in parts of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh.

While Shahabuddin is from Uttar Pradesh, Prasad hails from Bihar. Both are in their early 40s.