September 26, 2022
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Kohinoor belonged to Lord Jagannath: Odisha body writes to President Murmu demanding the UK to return the diamond.

  • September 14, 2022
  • 3 min read
Kohinoor belonged to Lord Jagannath: Odisha body writes to President Murmu demanding the UK to return the diamond.

The Kohinoor, according to an Odisha organisation, belonged to Lord Jagannath and should be sent back to India by the United Kingdom.

A sociocultural organisation in Odisha asserted that the Kohinoor diamond belonged to Lord Jagannath and asked President Droupadi Murmu to help bring it back from the United Kingdom to the revered Puri temple.

The 105-carat diamond will go to Prince Charles’ wife, Duchess of Cornwall Camilla, who is the Queen consort, in accordance with tradition following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Charles has since succeeded his mother as King.

The President was petitioned by the Puri-based Shree Jagannath Sena to help in the process of returning the Kohinoor diamond to the shrine from the 12th century.

“Sri Jagannath Bhagban owns the Kohinoor diamond. The English Queen is now holding it. Please ask our Prime Minister to take the necessary actions to bring it to India. Sena convener Priya Darsan Pattnaik stated in the letter that Maharaja Ranjit Singh left it to God Jagannath in his will.

According to Pattnaik, Maharaja of Punjab Ranjit Singh gave the diamond to the Puri Lord after defeating Afghan general Nadir Shah in combat.

But it wasn’t given over right away. Anil Dhir, a historian and researcher, told PTI that after Ranjit Singh passed away in 1839, the British took the Kohinoor away from his son Duleep Singh despite knowing that it had been left to Lord Jagannath at Puri.

Pattnaik asserted that after he sent a letter to the Queen in this regard, he received a communication from Buckingham Palace on October 19, 2016, asking him to appeal directly to the United Kingdom government as “Her Majesty acts on the advice of her ministers and remains strictly non-political at all times.”

A copy of that letter has been attached to the memorandum to the President, he said. Asked why he was silent on the issue for six years, Pattnaik said he was denied a Visa to visit England due to which he could not take up the matter further with the UK government.

Sena’s claim is justified though there are several claimants like Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s heirs, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Dhir said.

In his last will and testament, Maharaja Ranjit Singh bequeathed the Kohinoor to Lord Jagannath. The National Archives in Delhi have documentation attesting to the document’s British Army officer certification, according to the historian.

In the Rajya Sabha in 2016, Bhupinder Singh, a member of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha, brought up the subject of bringing the diamond back. Jayant Sarangi, a BJP lawmaker from Puri, also declared he would bring the issue up in the Odisha Assembly.

In his book “Kohinoor,” author and historian William Dalrymple wrote that the youthful Sikh heir Duleep Singh regretted giving the jewel to Queen Victoria. He also wanted to present it to the Queen in his capacity as a man.

The Indian government argued before the Supreme Court that the diamond, which is worth an estimated $200 million, was neither taken “forcibly” by British authorities nor was it stolen. Instead, it was presented to the East India Company by former Punjabi kings.

The Kohinoor, one of the most valuable jewels in the world, was allegedly discovered in India in the 14th century as coal was being extracted from the Kollur mine in South India.

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