In a robbery at the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama in Ram Bagh Gardens, or Company Bagh, seven daggers belonging to Sikh ruler’s army were stolen on Sunday.
The 19th-century daggers, which carry immense historical value, were in a glass enclosure along with other items associated with the maharaja, at the Panorama which is under the municipal corporation and the state tourism department, but is manned by one security guard at a time. There is a police post a few metres away.
By Monday evening, the cops had questioned the staff, starting with the three security guards and a security inspector who work on rotation, and taken their fingerprints. No further detail was provided on this front after the city police booked unidentified persons for the crime.
These daggers were among the nine that once occupied pride of place at the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum in the city, and had been shifted to the Panorama after it was opened in 2006. According to the Panorama officials, the daggers had been in Amritsar since 1977 after having been brought from Patiala.
The robbery, which most likely took place after the 5pm lockout for the day, came to light nearly half an hour later when the staff reportedly noticed the broken locks of the room where the daggers were housed.
“The daggers were there when we closed for the day. The theft was reported to me around 5.30pm and I brought the matter to the notice of the police,” said Raman Kumar, in-charge of the Panorama. About the gurads, Kumar said they were ex-servicemen employed by the government.
Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Bikram Pal Singh Bhatti, when contacted, said, “Broken locks clearly suggest that the accused had forced their way into the room where the daggers were kept. We have questioned some member of the staff.”