The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police has arrested eight persons for trading religious texts of archaeological and historical significance.
They were arrested by police on January 20 from the rented room of Rupesh Neupane, a native of Kalikot, in Dhadhikot, Bhaktapur, based on intelligence.
Neupane is one among the arrestees. Others are: Avatarsingh Lama (22), Furba Tamang (23) and Avinash Lama (18) of Dolakha, and Ram Sharan KC (46), Sani Maya Lama (30), Sharan Basnet (24) and Jit Bahadur Tamang (35) of Kathmandu.
The ‘racketeers’ from Kathmandu are real state brokers and others are said to be daily wage earners. CIB has also recovered Arya Mahasannipata
Ratnaketu Dharani, a Tibetan manuscript with a wooden cover, from them.
The manuscript weighs seven kilograms and is over 100 years old, officials said, citing archaeologists. It is illegal to trade objects, which are more than 100 years old, such as sacred images, paintings, manuscripts that have cultural and religious value.
CIB has also seized a sword from them.
According to the Central Investigation Bureau, Avatarsingh had teamed up with others to sell the manuscript to a client for two million rupees. Ram Sharan had arranged a vehicle to bring the book from Dolakha. Others were assigned to find clients.
They have been sent to Metropolitan Police Range Hanumandhoka for investigation and will face charges under the Ancient Monument Preservation Act.