Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Sikh warriors’ relics stolen from Amritsar museum


A policeman takes fingerprints of a security guard.

Seven daggers of the 18th century Sikh warriors have reportedly been stolen from Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama, located in the historic Ram Bagh garden in Amritsar.

The ancient weapons were on display in a room, which was usually locked and only opened for VIPs, on the first floor of the panorama. The stolen daggers were in the custody of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums which has also been entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of various other artefacts and relics brought from Maharaja Ranjit Singh museum during the restoration work of Maharaja’s summer palace.

Security guard Sukhwinder Singh said the incident, which occurred yesterday evening, came to light when he was checking the room before closing it. After being informed by the local staff, officials of the cultural affairs department in Chandigarh approached the Amritsar police.

Raman Kumar, curator, Department of Cultural Affairs, Archaeology and Museums, who looks after these historic articles, said the thieves decamped with seven of the nine daggers on display in a glass box placed towards the end of the room. “The articles were brought from Archaeological Museum in Patiala. We have summoned the records and photographs of these ancient weapons from there. The stolen daggers belonged to the Sikh warriors of the 18th century,” he said. He said it was first such incident since the artefacts were shifted to the panorama around seven years ago.

Besides the Archaeological and Museum Department staff, local Municipal Corporation employees guard the panorama. Kumar said the room was locked with a chain and the door’s handle was broken to open it.

Though seven daggers were stolen, all other historic weaponry was intact. Deputy Commissioner of Police Bikram Pal Singh Bhatti said a case had been registered.

PK Jaiswar
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, January 12

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