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2 stolen ancient idols returned to Nepal

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KATHMANDU — Two ancient idols, which were stolen from Nepal during the 1980s and were kept on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, were finally returned to Nepal after 30 years, the Department of Archeology (DoA) said on Wednesday.

Madhu Marasini, Nepal’s consul general in New York, handed over the stolen idols of Uma Maheshwor and Buddha to the official of DoA in Kathmandu amid a function.

“We are thankful to the museum board for deciding to send us back our valuable idols,” he said.

Chief archeologist of the DoA Shyam Sundar Rajbansi informed that the idols arrived in Kathmandu on Wednesday morning and were subsequently handed over to the department.

After the idols were handed over to the department, the authorities sent those idols to the National Museum in Chauni for display.

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The idols of Lord Buddha of Yatkatol Temple and Uma Maheshwar of Tangalhiti, Patan are presumed to be of 11th and 12th centuries respectively.

Earlier on March 5, the government had signed an agreement with the museum for the handover of the idols that rightfully belong to Nepal. The museum authority was supportive throughout the handover process, Marasini said.

According to the US museum, the Uma Maheshwar statue was gifted by a donor in 1986 and since then it has been exhibited at the museum whereas the statue of Buddha was gifted in 2015.

The museum not only removed the idols from display but also agreed to return them to Nepal, after the Nepali authorities informed the museum administration that both the statues were stolen, giving reference to the book ‘Stolen Images of Nepal’ written by Lain Singh Bangdel in 1989 AD.

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176 trafficked Nepalis rescued from Indo-Myanmar border

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KATHMANDU — At least 176 Nepali men and women, who were being trafficked into Myanmar, have been rescued by Manipur police and activists from different parts of Manipur, a northeastern state of India, in the last two days.

On their second day of rescue operation, the Tengnoupal police have rescued atleast 20 Nepalis including 5 women and 15 men, from a Hotel in Moreh town,Imphal Free Press, an English-language daily published from Manipur has reported.

The Moreh police have rescued as many as 60 nationals of Nepal including 45 women and 15 men.

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Earlier, over 105 Nepali women were rescued from Moreh and Imphal, the report stated.

The police team have also arrested the main suspect in the trafficking case identified as Madan Kumar Kharel, 52, Hailing from 07 Prithvinagar, Jhapa, Nepal.

The accused is reportedly responsible for bringing 20 of the 40 Nepali girls who were rescued from Moreh on Friday.

Meanwhile, Police also rescued 51 Nepalis from Imphal including 38 women and 13 men during Saturday rescue operations.

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