Sunday was the last when the custodian of a textile gallery, at the National Handicrafts and Handloom Museum in Bhairon Road, saw 16 antique Kashmiri shawls — decked up and on display. Two days later, when the shutters were opened, the shawls had gone missing.
After conducting a search in vain at the museum — also known as the Crafts Museum, under the Textiles Ministry — the security in-charge filed a complaint with the police, and an FIR was registered.
According to police, the FIR was registered on October 31, and after questioning the staff, police suspect that a researcher, who was working at the museum, may have been behind the robbery. “We have registered a case under IPC section 308 (theft). The shawls were kept at the display boards and the employees at the museum said the they were very old and extremely precious. The employees further told us that they suspect the role of a researcher, who had been working at the museum days prior to the theft,” said a police officer familiar with the investigation.
The theft was reported to police at 9.30 am on Tuesday, the officer said. The museum was closed on Sunday night, and since the museum remains closed on Monday, the shutters were opened on Tuesday morning.
The custodian of the gallery, Shahjahan Ansari, was the first to spot that the shawls were missing from the display boards, following which he informed the security in-charge Rama Krishna Rao. Police have claimed that out of the eight CCTV cameras inside the museum, none were found to be working.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines