Two men held in Kolkata for shawl theft at Delhi mu­seum

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES CITY - @times­

Kolkata: Ex­actly two weeks af­ter thieves en­tered the Na­tional Hand­i­crafts and Hand­looms Mu­seum at Bha­iron Marg in Lu­tyens’ Delhi and de­camped with 16 Kash­miri shawls, some dat­ing back to Mughal em­peror Babur’s time, Delhi Po­lice and Tol­ly­gunge Po­lice ar­rested the two ac­cused from a ho­tel in the Tol­ly­gunge area.

Ac­cord­ing to Kolkata and Delhi Po­lice sources, the two have been iden­ti­fied as Binay Par­mar and Binay Har­go­ria. They were pro­duced in the Ali­pore chief ju­di­cial mag­is­trate court and granted three days’ tran­sit re­mand.

Sources said they had switched off their mo­bile phones soon af­ter steal­ing the shawls. Ti­lak Marg Po­lice in Delhi re­al­ized the ac­cused had switched on their phones only af­ter check­ing in at Na­man Inn on Prat­a­pa­ditya Road. Par­mar, the main ac­cused, was in­ter­cepted on Park Street and brought to Tol­ly­gunge po­lice sta­tion af­ter which Har­go­ria was ar­rested.

Po­lice said the ac­cused of­ten vis­ited the mu­seum, where they would en­quire about the an­tique value of the shawls. Par­mar had gone to the mu­seum on the day of the theft. “But the CCTV cam­era could not lo­cate him com­ing out. It seems he had stayed back till late evening and es­caped from a rear gate. His mo­bile tower lo­ca­tion showed he was at this spot be­fore it was switched off at night. The mo­bile was switched on again in Kolkata, which led Delhi Po­lice to rush there,” said an of­fi­cial. Sources said the ac­cused was an an­tique dealer.

Mu­seum au­thor­i­ties said the two posed as schol­ars re­search­ing the his­tory of shawls and had done a recce of the mu­seum ear­lier. Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, they used blades to cut open the lam­i­na­tion on the shawls and re­moved them care­fully. The theft was dis­cov­ered only on Oc­to­ber 31 morn­ing by the cus­to­dian of the mu­seum as the premises were closed on Sun­day and Mon­day. “Though vis­i­tors are not al­lowed in on the days the mu­seum is closed, the two ‘re­searchers’ had sought special per­mis­sion to en­ter,” said D Rama Kr­ishna Rao, se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer of the mu­seum.

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