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Homechevron_rightIndiachevron_rightShivaji’s ‘Wagh-nakh’...

Shivaji’s ‘Wagh-nakh’ used to kill Gen. Afzal Khan to be brought back from UK

Shivaji’s ‘Wagh-nakh’ used to kill Gen. Afzal Khan to be brought back from UK

Mumbai: Spelling a political score, the Maharashtra government is all set to bring back the famed ‘wagh-nakh’ (tiger claws), used by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to kill Afzal Khan, the General of Bijapur Sultanate, in 1659, from a museum in the United Kingdom.

BJP leader and state minister Sudhir Mungantiwar told the media that he will visit London between September 29 and October 3 to sign a memorandum with the concerned authorities there.

Once brought back, the weapon will likely be placed in the Chhatrapati Shivaji Sangrahalaya (museum) in south Mumbai.

The ‘wagh-nakh’ is part of folklore when Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj deployed it to kill Afzal Khan of the Adil Shahi dynasty of the Bijapur Sultanate, at the Pratapgad Fort in Satara 364 years ago.

Made of iron, with four sharp claw-like protrusions attached to a bar and two rings built to fit on two fingers, the deadly tiger-claws are currently in custody at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, which is considered the world’s largest housing of a permanent collection of over 2.27 million exhibits.

The ‘wagh-nakh’ is likely to reach India in November, to be formally received by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar and later, it would be put on public display here.

“On a suitable day, the special event shall be held… It's not just a thing for the people of the state, but a great symbol of faith,” said Mungantiwar.

Mungantiwar has been working to get the tiger-claws back since long, and the efforts are on the verge of fructifying as the state celebrates the 350th anniversary of the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj as ‘Chhatrapati’ at Raigad on June 6, 1674, with the next target being the Maratha warrior’s Jagdamba Sword of the 17th century from a London museum.

Afzal Khan's powerful army was defeated by the Marathas using guerrilla warfare. Shivaji killed Khan using a ‘wagh nakh’, a sharp iron made weapon shaped like tiger claws in 1659.

This happened when the two met at the foot of Pratapgad fort in the present-day Satara district. Since then, the episode has become a part of folklore.

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