Thieves walk away with Prophet’s 1,400-yr-old footprint from mosque
Thieves know no religious boundaries. Call it bizarre or just “lust for lucre”, the burglars have begun to act across religious considerations stunning the state administration.
Days after they laid their hands on the idols of Lord Mahavira and Hindu deities, the thieves have walked away with a 1,400-year-old footprint of Prophet Mohammad, founder of Islam, from a historic mosque located on the banks of the Ganges in Patna.
The theft came to fore yesterday evening when the casket in which the footprint engraved on a precious stone, was opened for public display at the Peerdamaria mosque during ‘Urs’, an annual religious ritual of Muslims.
The followers were shocked and disappointed to see the casket empty, triggering wide outrage. However, the police brought the situation under control.
According to mosque officials, the rare footprint was preserved in this mosque for the past 400 years since it came into existence during the Moghul period.“We have taken it as a challenge and formed a special team to investigation the case. We hope to recover the missing footprint soon,” Patna’s senior superintendent of police, Manu Maharaj said.
The incident comes barely a week after 14 precious idols of Hindu deities were stolen from an ancient Ram Janaki Math (religious seminary) in Vaishali district, some 40 km north of Patna.
According to the police, the stolen idols of Lord Rama and his family made of aastadhatu were worth Rs one crore in the international market.
As per reports, more than 200 idols of various Hindu deities have been stolen from different temples and maths over the past five years in Bihar with a maximum of 65 idols being stolen in 2013.
Barely a month earlier in December last year, a 2,600-year-old idol of Lord Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara of Jainism, was stolen from a historic Jain temple in Jamui district, prompting chief minister Nitish Kumar to order a CBI investigation.
However, the 250-kg black stone idol installed in a Jain temple at Dipakarhar village was recovered from a field some nine days after theft.
There have also been reports of smuggling of precious idols of Buddha from many places in Bihar which has several places of Buddhist importance. Police say the smugglers get attracted to these idols as they fetch huge amount in the international market.
Copyright: The Statesman India/ANN