A dagger, gifted to former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru during one of his foreign visits, was allegedly stolen from the Nehru Museum in New Delhi on Monday.
On Monday evening, a glass casket in which the dagger was kept was reportedly found broken by the private security guards. They informed the police about the incident.
A case of theft has been registered and investigation launched. The museum was closed for visitors on Monday. Sources said that since the dagger was golden in colour, made of shiny metal, the thief may have mistaken it to be made of gold. The sources said the dagger was ornamental only.
“The private security guards saw the broken glass casket on Monday evening and informed the authorities. The museum officials called the police control room. The glass casket was broken in a professional manner. The casket has not been smashed. It is the job of someone who knew how the casket is opened. It may have been broken in an attempt to open it,” a senior police officer said.
The police suspect the role of an insider in the case.
“None of the entry doors to the lobby where the dagger was kept, were found to be broken. The entry was friendly which means that the person had the key to the gates. We have sought details of all the employees including security staff working in the museum and their entry and exit time,” said a senior police officer.
“We are also looking at the CCTV footage from the spot to identify who went inside the building at the time when the dagger was stolen,” the officer said.