Centre turns down plea for replica of Kuvempu's stolen Padma medal

Says, it can be provided only if recipient is alive; getting artist to create it against law

Centre turns down plea for replica of Kuvempu's stolen Padma medal

Padma Vibhushan, the country's second-highest civilian award, conferred on poet laureate, the late Kuvempu, in 1988, will go missing from the awards gallery forever.  

The gallery is part of the poet's ancestral house-turned-museum at Kuppalli in Thirthahalli taluk.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has turned down Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Pratishtana's appeal for a replica of the medal, after it was stolen from the museum.

Confirming this, Pratishtana secretary Kadidal Prakash said, "the officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs have sent a letter to the Pratishtana, saying the replica of the Padma Vibhushan or any civilian award presented by the President of India cannot be given when the recipient is not alive.

The appeal could have been considered, if it had come from the recipient himself.

"It is disappointing, but the Ppratishtana is helpless in this regard. Getting a replica of the medal created is against the law. So, we dropped the idea of asking an artist to create a replica."

The Padma Vibhushan medal had been on display along with other awards such as Padma Bhushan (1958), Karnataka Ratna (1992) and Jnanapith (1967) at the museum, since 2001. But the medal was taken away from the attic of the house-turned-museum of the poet at Kuppalli on November 23, 2015.

Revanasiddappa, the prime suspect who was arrested, had told the police during interrogation that he might have lost the medal in the forest while fleeing from the museum after stealing it.

The then superintendent of police of Shivamogga Ravi D Channannavar had ordered for a search operation in and around Kuppalli. In spite of conducting the search operation extensively, the police could not find it.

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