George Cross winner's widow moves court

Septuagenarian Brahmi Devi, wife of an ex-soldier who received the George Cross award, has approached Himachal Pradesh High Court to seek help in solving the theft case of the medal.

A bench of the HC will hear the case on March 6. “Brahmi Devi alleged that the police probe into the case is shoddy. She also demanded a stay order on the auction of the medal as her petition is pending in court,” said Shakti Singh Chandel, a former IAS officer, who is pursuing the case on her behalf.

“The CID has been investigating the case since 2009 and no chargesheet has been filed depite the identification of two accused,” Chandel said. The authorities noticed the stolen medal when UK-based auction house Dix Noonan Webb listed the award for auction on December 2, 2009.

British authorities withdrew the medal from the auction list after the Indian government intervened.

Brahmi, 77, who lives in a village in Himachal’s Bilaspur district, said it was stolen from her house. She reported the theft on February 3, 2002.

“British investigators have ruled out the possibility of theft. They said the medal was bought by Ashok Nath, an NRI settled in Britain, from Delhi-based antique-items seller S L Jain. The medal may be put up for auction again,” said Director General of Police I D Bhandari.

Brahmi told police that she had not gifted the medal to anyone.

Brahmi got the medal from Field Marshal Lord Wavell in 1946. Her husband, Kirpa Ram, was awarded the George Cross for saving his colleagues when a grenade accidentally went off at a camp in Bangalore on September 12, 1945. He died in the attempt.

Nath told police that he bought the medal nine years ago from Jain, following all process involved in buying an antique item.

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