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No action yet against officials who misguided Govt over Toshkhana
7/18/2018 10:51:58 PM
Early Times Report
Jammu, July 18: The Jammu and Kashmir government is yet to initiate any action against the erring officials against whom there is ample evidence about how they misguided the government over the status of the Dogra treasure known popularly as Toshkhana.
The story goes back to April 19 this year, when the committee of various legislators of Jammu and Kashmir's state legislature itself admitted that the officers of the state administration are misguiding the people about the actual status of Toshkhana.
The committee at that time showed its displeasure over contradictory statements by the officials regarding Toshkhana. It observed that in the earlier meeting it was informed about the misplacement of keys of Toshkhana while now they were informed that the keys were not lost but are lying in the custody of the court.
The committee desired that action under law be taken against the officers who misinformed it about the facts of the keys of Toshkhana in its previous meeting.
Pertinently, the great treasure of the Dogra rulers of Jammu and Kashmir contained a glittering ring studded with all the traditional nine gems arranged around a 10-carat diamond worth approximately Rs 10 million. Two diamond necklaces containing 200 blue diamonds estimated at Rs 10 million. Hundreds of rubies from Sri Lanka and Burma. The treasure houses 20,000 pearls which is the largest known collection of them, mostly imported from Basra and other cities of Iraq. Rudraksha beads with a rare single furrow and even twin beads.
"There are also the two boxes from the trove containing 67,000 tolas (1 tola-11.66 gm) of gold that was donated to the National Defense Fund in 1963 in response Jawaharlal Nehru's nation-wide appeal for donation of gold following the Chinese attack," reads the report.
Meanwhile, the state government has been speaking in different voices till date over the present status of this great treasure trove. Presently, the department concerned has preferred to keep its lips sealed over the issue.
The government in the year 1983 had made a list of all the items which included necklaces, diamonds, rubies, emeralds etc. At that time, a French expert Sotheby Reyner was brought in to evaluate the jewels whose cost was summed up at Rs 500 crore.
In 1947 some eight trucks of the Maharaja's jewel possessions were left behind in Jammu Toshkhana which was later shifted to Srinagar in 1951. Some retired officials even say that a part of the treasure was utilised for financial stability by the government of India after Indo-China War of 1962. The official records of the presence of these jewels in the government treasuries were maintained till 1983 but after that there is no clue of the same.
The government till date has not come clear over whether it has auctioned the treasure for the execution of the developmental projects in the state. It is even not revealed how much preserved is the treasure and how much of the treasure has been usurped upon by the powers that be, and where these jewels are now.
Even Dr. Karan Singh, Maharaja Hari Singh's son, has claimed his right on the treasure, which the Supreme Court of India did not approve of. The state government still continues to be the custodian of this priceless legacy.
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