Baku, August 13, AZERTAC
Police recovered a nearly 400-year-old copy of the Quran, one of the oldest so far found in India, from a ten-member gang on Monday.
Acting on a tip-off, police laid a trap and arrested four of them near Hosa Agrahara in KR Nagar, Mysuru, when they were waiting in a car for prospective buyers. Police received information about the copy, written in Arabic, that dates back to the 17th century, along with video footage about it. They contacted the gang as prospective buyers, and first nabbed four of them. Later, six others were arrested near Mysuru.
The gang, from different parts of Karnataka, quoted Rs 5 crore as the price for this rare work, and had come to KR Nagar, hoping to find a buyer.
Historian B Sheik Ali, 93, confirmed the copy dates back to the Mughal period, and said it appears to be one of the oldest copies in India. "I haven't seen such an old Quran, in neat italic calligraphy," he said. He described it an invaluable work - the letters in black ink are in floral design, on specially made gold coloured paper.
Based on the date (AH 1050 - Islamic Hijri calendar) mentioned on the last page of the book, the nonagenarian said it was written approximately in the early or mid 17th century.