KATHMANDU, Feb 12: Metropolitan Police Range Office (MPRO) Hanuman Dhoka on Sunday nabbed four individuals including Bal Krishna Shrestha, 54, of Banepa, Kavre District for trying to sell an ancient tantric text titled Baal Mojh Grahn for Rs 5,000,000.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Chakra Bahadur Singh, spokesperson at MPRO, police arrested the four while they were trying to sell the text.
They were arrested on suspicion of violation of the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 2013. An investigation is underway.
Police nabbed Shrestha from Baniyatar, Kathmandu with the three intermediaries while they were to sell the text. The others arrested are identified as Santosh Ghimire of Tehrathum, Ram Rashayeli of Dhankuta and Sambhu Lama of Seuchhatar, Kathmandu while trying to sell the text, which is said to be of archaeological value.
According to preliminary investigations, the text belonged to Shrestha and it was handed down to him from his forefathers.
He has confessed to police that he tried to sell the text for the sake of the money. According to him, the text has been with him for more than 40 years and it was handed down in his family over the last four generations.
The text is in Newari and Sanskrit and comprises almost 100 pages. According to Raj Kumar Suwal, advocate and executive director of the Center for Intellectual Property Pvt Ltd Nepal, the text dates back to the Malla or Lichhabi period.
Suwal, who saw the text at Hanumandhoka soon after its seizure, told Republica, “The text contains invaluable traditional knowledge and is of archaeological importance.”
Some centuries ago Bhaktapur was known as a tantric city and many texts were destroyed by Prithibi Narayan Shah, according to Suwal.
He said the text seized by police was one of those remaining from the period and has medicinal value.
He said that the methods described in the text were used for curing sick children.
But the text is yet to be submitted to the Department of Archeology to establish its archeological and cultural value, according to Inspector Manjil Mukarung.