Special Investigative Team (SIT) has arrested a baul singer for his alleged involvement in the theft of Rabindranath Tagore‘s Nobel Prize medal in 2004, a CID officer said on Friday.
Pradip Bauri was picked up from his Ruppur village residence in Birbhum district earlier this month. Bauri would be taken to Gujarat for a narco analysis test and a court has given permission for the same.
SIT officials said he had provided shelter to the culprits responsible for the theft at a Visva Bharati University museum and that he had even helped them escape. Officials said that Buari, who was the gram panchayat pradhan of Ruppur from 1998 to 2003, had knowledge of the entire episode and of those involved in the theft.
The initial probe revealed that Bangladeshi national, Mohammed Hossain Shipul, had planned the theft, which involved two Europeans as well.
The Nobel medal and the citation, won by Tagore in 1913, were stolen from Visva Bharati University’s museum, Santiniketan. Apart from the medal and citation, Tagore’s favourite gold pocket watch, his wife Mrinalini Devi’s gold bangle and antique Baluchari saree, his father Debendranath Tagore’s gold ring, several silver utensils used by him and his family members and some articles made of ivory were also stolen. It was believed that the medal and other items were smuggled out to Bangladesh.
In 2005, the Nobel foundation had handed over two replicas of the Nobel Prize to Vishwa Bharati University.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said in August this year that if the state government was given the responsibility, it could try to retrieve the Nobel medallion stolen from a museum.