Kohinoor belongs to Puri temple: BJD MP

Kohinoor belongs to Puri temple: BJD MP

Kohinoor belongs to Puri temple: BJD MP

BJD leader Bhartruhari Mehtab on Thursday said that Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s last wish was to gift the Kohinoor diamond to Lord Jagannath temple but his minor son Dalip Singh had to surrender it to the British “under duress”. 

“Maharaja Ranjeet Singh’s wish remained unfulfilled. Lord Dalhousie, the then Governor General of India had acquired this stone as spoils of war after the end of the Anglo-Sikh war of 1849. By no stretch of imagination can it be interpreted that the gifting of the diamond by Dalip Singh, who was hardly eight-years-old, to the Queen of England was an act of cheerful volition,” he said while raising the issue in Lok Sabha during the Zero Hour.

To substantiate his claim, he also placed on the table of the House a copy of a 5-page letter written by Dalhousie, maintaining that it was clear that Puri temple was the “rightful owner” of the Kohinoor diamond.   

Mehtab requested the Centre to take a position not only in the Supreme Court but also to impress upon the United Kingdom that Kohinoor must be returned to India, drawing an instant support from members of other political parties in the House.

“What courage did this government displayed to take a stand in the Supreme Court on the Kohinoor? True courage would lie not in stating the technical position but accepting the fact that the diamond was taken away by force. The acceptance would be just as well because we have also not been able to do anything about untold plunder of India, its people, jewels and the mineral wealth under the colonial rule for centuries,” he added.

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