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Ranjit Singh army’s stolen daggers found in gurdwara

Seven 19th-century daggers stolen from the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama here 10 days ago were recovered on Wednesday, with the police claiming these were abandoned by an unidentified woman at a gurdwara. With the daggers, the cops claimed, was a note that said, “These daggers must be shown to the common people too, and not only to VVIPs visiting the Panorama… No insider was involved in the theft.”

chandigarh Updated: Jan 22, 2015 14:08 IST
Aseem Bassi
Aseem Bassi
Hindustan Times
Amritsar,19th-century,daggers
Policemen-showing-the-daggers-recovered-in-Amritsar-on-Wednesday-Sameer-Sehgal-HT

Seven 19th-century daggers stolen from the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Panorama here 10 days ago were recovered on Wednesday, with the police claiming these were abandoned by an unidentified woman at a gurdwara. With the daggers, the cops claimed, was a note that said, “These daggers must be shown to the common people too, and not only to VVIPs visiting the Panorama… No insider was involved in the theft.”

The police thus became certain that it was an insider job, though no arrests were made immediately.

The daggers were among the nine from Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh’s army kept at the Panorama in Ram Bagh gardens (Company Bagh), and were stolen just after it was closed for the day around 5pm on January 11. Under the aegis of the municipal corporation and the state tourism department, the exhibition site is guarded by three security personnel and an in-charge who work in shifts, one at a time. Security cameras installed in the corridor of the building were not operational that day. The police had subsequently taken the staff’s fingerprints.

On Tuesday, the recovery came about after the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) informed the police that the daggers tied up in a ‘rumala’ or piece of cloth had been abandoned at Gurdwara Ramsar by a woman, police said.

Deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Bikram Pal Singh Bhatty told HT, “The way the glass enclosure was opened gave weight to our suspicion that someone in the know was involved.”

The daggers came to Amritsar in 1977 from Patiala and were kept at the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Museum. From there, these and other items were shifted to the Panorama that was opened to the public in 2006.

First Published: Jan 22, 2015 14:03 IST