Wrath of Shiva

India Today - - GLOSSARY -

Atrial has just started in a court near Trichy in Tamil Nadu. On one side is a Chola bronze statue of Nataraj, the 1,000-year-old guardian of Bri­hadeeswara tem­ple at Sripu­ran­than vil­lage. On the other side is Sub­hash Kapoor, a New Delhi-born and New York-based an­tiq­uity dealer, charged with sell­ing the de­ity to the Na­tional Gallery of Aus­tralia. Ac­cord­ing to Interpol, Kapoor is “one of the big­gest” tem­ple smug­glers in the world. But right now he is plead­ing “not guilty”. It was in 2005 that Kapoor ap­par­ently set the plan to steal the de­ity. The Shiva tem­ple was ly­ing un­manned. Daily wor­ship had stopped af­ter ru­mours of deadly scor­pi­ons and bees colonis­ing the area did the rounds. The theft was dis­cov­ered only in 2008. Interpol de­tained Kapoor at Frankfurt air­port in 2011 and he has since been in ju­di­cial cus­tody at Chen­nai jail. The big­gest weak­ness of the case is: There is no pho­to­graphic ev­i­dence link­ing Nataraj to the tem­ple. Will this al­low Kapoor to get away?

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