Kolkata, Nov 25, 2016: A ‘baul’ singer has been taken into police custody for his suspected association in the theft of Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize medal in 2004, a CID officer stated today.
Pradip Bauri, a folk singer, was picked up by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) from Ruppur village in Birbhum district earlier this month, the official said on condition of anonymity, mentioned PTI.
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“We are almost sure about his involvement. He arranged safe passage for others to move stolen items from Santiniketan to somewhere else. Though he has denied it we have decided to put him under narco-analysis test on Wednesday. We have already received court permission,” said the SIT official.
Bauri was locked up for nearly two weeks by the CBI during its investigation into the case.
PTI reports mentioned, it was clear after questioning Bauri that he had knowledge of the entire episode and others involved in the heist, he said.
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Bauri, who had presided over the gram panchayat of Ruppur from 1998 to 2003 had provided shelter to the culprits involved in stealing the medal and also helped them disappear, believe officials
Following his enquiry, it has been disclosed that a Bangladeshi national, Mohammed Hossain Shipul, was the mastermind of the plan and two Europeans were also involved in it, the SIT officer added.
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had declared in August that if the state government was given the responsibility, it could try to retrieve the Nobel medallion stolen from a museum of Visva Bharati University. The medal has great historical and cultural value as it was the first Nobel Prize won by an Indian; but from a patriotic view, Tagore’s Nobel Medal is simply priceless, mentioned PTI.
Along with the medal, Tagore’s gold pocket watch, his wife Mrinalini Devi’s gold bangle and antique Baluchari saree, his father Debendranath Tagore’s gold ring, several silver articles, rare paintings besides other awards, and certificates conferred on him were also stolen. In 2005, the Nobel foundation handed over two replicas of the Nobel Prize to Vishwa Bharati University.
Even though CID and later CBI took over this case time and again, but they never had much luck and were compelled to close it down. After a temporary pause, this case was reopened again because of political influence and national interest.
The SIT which arrested Bauri, was formed thereafter with Mamata Banerjee’s enthusiasm and support. It consists of Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, ADG of Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Rajesh Kumar and IG of CID (II) Javed Shamim.
– prepared by Durba Mandal of NewsGram with inputs from PTI. Twitter: @dubumerangClick here for reuse options!
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