HARIPUR: The officials of the Archaeology Department have seized a centuries old status of Buddha from the house of Masroor Shah, a resident of Sultanpur village in Haripur.
Officials claimed that the statue was about 2,000-year-old and the accused want to sell the statue to make money. Sub-regional officer of the Hazara department Nawazuddin told media that two field officer of the department, Gul Nabi and supervisor Raja Adnan conducted a raid at the house of Masroor Shah in Sultan Pur village and recovered the Buddha’s statue from his possession.
He said the statue and the accused have been handed over to Khanpur police, where a case under sections 52 (1) and (2) of KP Antiquities Act, 2016, has been registered against Masroor Shah.
Mr Nawazuddin said the statue was 1×1 feet in its genuine condition, which the had got during illegal digging in some area of Khanpur, bordering Taxila valley, and he wanted to smuggle it to Punjab for onward transportation to some foreign country to get better price.
He said the historical analysis of the statue showed that the Buddha was in a meditating position and it was 1,800 to 2,000 years old.
The official said the statue would remain with the Khanpur police till completion of the prosecution process, and would later be shifted to either Peshawar or Abbottabad museum.
To a question about checking illegal digging of archaeological sites, he said there were only 3,000 known archaeological sites in the province, while the historians and the department believed that there were 6,000 other sites that were yet to be discovered. He said watchmen had been posted at almost all the discovered sites of Haripur.