A resident in Rideemaliyadda who had kept a stone pillar depicting a replica of “Siripathula” (Sacred foot print of the Buddha) discovered at Kandubedda, Thalawegama in his house for nearly two years without declaring the artifact to the Archaeological Department was arrested by the Mahiyangana Police along with two other suspects on May 3 following a tip off.
The two others included the owner of the house and another suspect who arrived in the house on the guise of an archaeological department officer.
On interrogation the suspects had said they found the artifact while cutting clay for making bricks.
The three suspects were produced before the Mahiyangana Magistrate on charges of failure to declare an archaeological find and removal of the find from its original location and remanded till May 16. Badulla Regional Commissioner of Archeology Mrs Inoka Balasuriya arrived at the Mahiyangana Police station on notice on May 3 and took custody of the pillar.
Mahiyangana Police are investigating.