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Bangalore Man Arrested for Stealing Century-Old Book from Nilgiri Library

A 34-year-old resident of Bangalore, identified as Katitra Debnath, has been arrested for the theft of a 116-year-old book from the Nilgiri Library in Udhagamandalam. The rare book, “The Pirates of Malabar and An Englishwoman in India Two Hundred Years Ago” by Colonel John Biddulph, went missing shortly after the Ooty Literature Fest in October.

Library officials reported the theft, leading to an investigation by the Nilgiris district police. The police received a tip about the stolen book being offered for sale on Instagram, leading them to Debnath.

Further investigation revealed that Debnath earned a living by stealing rare books from various locations in India and selling them to collectors. Upon his arrest, a collection of rare books from different parts of India was seized from his residence. Debnath was attempting to sell the stolen book for over ₹10,000.