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Hunt for stolen water meters leads cops to 1,000-yr-old scripture

Hunt for stolen water meters leads cops to 1,000-yr-old scripture
Mumbai A search to recover stolen water meters in Kalyan led cops to chance upon some historic antique stationery lying in a scrap shop. On Tuesday, the Bazarpeth police recovered a tamrapatra - a copper-plate used to record information by engraving in ancient times - said to be dating back to 1019 AD, from a scrap shop in Ghiladevi Chowk, Kalyan (West). It has been sent to the archaeology department for assessment.

According to the police, following a spate of complaints about theft of water meters in the area, a special crack team zeroed in on the scrap shop, owned by one Prakash Jain, for search and inquiry. During investigations, police spotted the tamrapatra and questioned Jain, who apparently could not provide a satisfactory answer as to how he came to possess it. Police seized the plate and brought Jain to the police station. The scrap dealer claimed that the tamrapatra belonged to his grandfather. Police have not registered any case as investigations are going on.

"Our officers had gone to the scrap shop to look for the water meters. Unexpectedly, they found the tamrapatra," said R R Patil, senior inspector, Bazarpeth police station. Patil called two history mentors, Shrinivas Sathe and Arun Chandra Pathak, to examine the copper-plate. After inspection, the experts told the police that the tamrapatra was almost a 1,000 years old, dating back to 1019 AD.

The new discovery weighs 5.5 kilogram, and has three sheets with inscriptions in the Devnagri script, mostly Sanskrit. Yesterday, police called archaeology officials who took photographs of the find, and will submit a report soon. "The archaeology officials have taken photographs of the tamrapatra. They will submit a detailed report soon. The scrap dealer, Jain, claims the copper-plate belongs to his grandfather. We are verifying the truth," said Patil.
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