Two days after Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told the Supreme Court that the Kohinoor diamond was neither “forcibly taken nor stolen” by the British, but was instead given as a “gift” to the East India Company by the rulers of Punjab, the NDA government was on Wednesday critiqued by the Aam Aadmi Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the BJP’s alliance partner in Punjab.
Delhi Tourism and Culture Minister and AAP leader Kapil Mishra sent a letter to Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma saying the Centre had, knowingly or otherwise, “cheated” the country of its heritage, and that no self-respecting country can allow that. SAD, meanwhile, asked Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the apex body representing the Sikhs, to file a caveat in the Supreme Court to claim that the diamond “rightfully” belongs to SGPC and should be returned by the UK.
A SAD deputation is likely to call on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to make a representation on behalf of the Sikh community, contending that the Kohinoor was “robbed” from Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last sovereign Sikh ruler of Punjab.
Mishra, meanwhile, said that Pakistan is “also staking claim to the Kohinoor and if India gives up its claim, Pakistan will lay greater emphasis on claiming it”.