Odisha body seeks return of Kohinoor, Says it belongs to Lord Jagannathtext_fields
Bhubaneswar: Shree Jagannath Sena, a Puri-based socio-cultural organisation is seeking the return of the Kohinoor diamond. The organisation claimed that the stone belongs to Lord Jagannath.
The Odisha body has submitted a memorandum to President Droupadu Murmu requesting her intervention to return Kohinoor to the Puri temple, a 12th-century shrine. Convener Priya Darsan Pattnaik said that Maharaja Ranjit Singh donated it to God Jagannath in his will and wrote: "Kindly request our Prime Minister to take steps to bring it to India."
Pattnaik told PTI that he sent a letter to the Queen about the return of Kohinoor. On October 10, 2016, Buckingham Palace asked him to appeal directly to the UK government because the Queen acts on the advice of her ministers and remains strictly non-political at all times.
Kohinoor diamond is one of the top items when reparation of things looted or taken during colonisation. The stone is now with the British royal family. After the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the 105-carat diamond will go to the Duchess of Cornwall Camilla - King Charles' Queen consort.
According to historian Anil Dhir, Maharaja of Punjab Ranjit Singh donated the diamond after winning a battle against Nadir Shah of Afghanistan. The king died in 1893. The stone was with his son Duleep Singh even after 10 years and the British took it away from him.
He added that there are several claimants like Maharaja Ranjit Singh's heirs along with individuals/organisations from Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, the Raja's will that proves the donation of the diamond to Lord Jagannath is available at the National Archives in Delhi. The document was certified by a British Army officer and the colonists were aware of the donation when they took it to Britain.
On the other hand, the Archaeological Survey of India said that the Kohinoor diamond was "surrendered" by the Maharaja of Lahore to the then Queen of England and "not handed over" to the British. The Indian government's stand is that the diamond was given to the East India Company by erstwhile rulers of Punjab.
Kohinoor is estimated to cost over $200 million.