New Delhi : India will make all out efforts to get back the famed 106-carat Kohinoor, currently set in a royal crown on display in the Tower of London, despite British government’s recent statement that there is no legal ground for restitution of the diamond.
With an estimated value of over $ 200 million, Kohinoor was transferred to the treasury of the British East India Company in Lahore after the subjugation of Punjab in 1849 by the British forces, which had confiscated the properties of the Sikh Empire.
“The government is considering both diplomatic as well as legal channels to get back the diamond. If India is able to get back the diamond through diplomatic efforts, then it would not go for the legal channel. But if that does not fructify, then the government will explore legal option,” a senior government source said.
The move comes against the backdrop of the UK Minister of Asia and Pacific Affairs Alok Sharma indicating that Kohinoor could probably never find its way to India. “As far as this issue is concerned, there is no legal ground for restitution,” he had said during his visit here last week. Shiromani Gurdwara Prabankdhak Committee (SGPC), which represents the Sikh community, has also jumped into the fray to stake claim over the precious gem.
SGPC Chief Secretary Harcharan Singh has urged the Centre to take up the matter with British government and demand its return to the Sikh community.