Bilaspur. The idol has been stolen from the historical Ganesh temple located in Etawa Pali of Masturi area. This idol is of the rare Bhanwar Ganesha of the 10th century, which is worth around Rs 2 crore. The black granite statue is about 3 feet high and weighs 65 kg, which was stolen again for the fourth time today.
According to the villagers, when they went to open the door of the temple today in the morning, they saw that the lock was broken and the idol was again missing from the sanctum sanctorum. After which the villagers immediately informed the Masturi police about the incident. Masturi police team has reached the spot and is interrogating. The idol of Bhanwar Ganesh temple at Etwa Pali is contemporary with the idol of Didneshwari Devi at Malhar. Bhanwar Ganesh is also considered prominent among the sculptures of Malhar developed between the seventh and tenth centuries.
The same temple has been stolen four times before. The statue was stolen for the first time in 2004, but the thieves were not able to go out of the district. After this the idol was stolen in April 2006. In 2007 also, an attempt was made to steal the idol from the temple and the theft took place on 26 August 2022. The idol was recovered after catching the thieves. This time it was stolen again on 11th February, but there is no proper security arrangement for it, due to which this idol remains the target of thieves.
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