Antique smugglers struck gold on Sunday night when they stole away a rare manuscript written in golden letters by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
The value of the stolen manuscript is said to be around Rs one crore. The manuscript was kept in a steel almirah in the principal's chamber-cum-library of Tekari Raj Inter School under Tekari sub-division of the district.
The thieves scaled the wall on the rear side of the school building, broke the locks and took away the manuscript "Gulistan" written in Persian.
The school with more than two dozen classrooms has a 12-feet high boundary wall around its campus. However, there was no security arrangement at the school.
The smugglers also reportedly took away a handbag kept in the almirah containing Rs 1000. It is said that the then Maharaja of Alwar had sold the bhojpatra manuscript to his Tekari counterpart for Rs 10,000 about 200 years ago. It was kept at the school established by the then queen of Tekari, Rani Rajroop Kunwar, in 1876 for the education of her son Gopal Sharan, who later became the king of Tekari.
However, according to another version, the manuscript was presented as a gift to the Tekari estate during the visit of Emperor Aurangzeb. Later, Rani Kunwar donated the manuscript to the school and since then it has been there.
Meanwhile, the police have started investigation into the theft and interrogated the principal in-charge Brijnandan Singh.
A case would also be lodged in this connection. Police have recovered a screwdriver from the spot. Mystery shrouds the theft as the lock of only one almirah out of eight kept in the chamber has been found broken.
Recently, during the Krishi Mela organised on the school campus, Magadh division commissioner Shakti Kumar Negi came to know about the manuscript. He had cautioned the principal in-charge about its security.
It is noteworthy that antique smugglers have spread their tentacles in Gaya district too, which is evident from the fact that the CBI sleuths had camped at Gaya for sometime in connection with the investigation into the recent theft of idols from the Patna Museum. At least three persons, including one from village Rupaspur under Tekari police station were nabbed from Gaya and three idols, including two of Lord Ganesha and one of Lord Vishnu, were recovered during raids at different places in the district.