After months of flip-flop, FIR on theft of historical artefacts, coins from RTMNU lodged

Nagpur University
After months of flip-flop and dilly-dallying, an FIR has been lodged with Ambazari police regarding theft of historical artefacts and coins from cupboards of the Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology of RTMNU.

A total of 2633 artefacts and 224 Vishnukundin coins went missing but the theft came to notice in April 2016. However, surprisingly, even after it realized that the artefacts and coins worth crores were missing from its cupboards, the Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU) authorities were reluctant to lodge a complaint with Ambazari police in this connection. Right from the Vice Chancellor Siddharthvinayaka Kane’s ‘personal investigations’, to Ambazari cops refusing to lodge a complaint, everything seems suspicious and fishy. The only clear indication was that all of them were trying to save a big fish, sources claimed.

According to police sources, unidentified persons laid their hands on 2633 ‘antiquities’ and 224 Vishnukundin coins worth crores kept at the cupboards of RTMNU’s Department of Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology. The theft could have occurred before May 10, 2016. But for months, no complaint was lodged with police regarding the theft.

Now, a resident of Shikshak Nivas, Vinod Dalme has registered a case with Ambazari Police against unidentified persons. Cops too have booked the offenders.

Right since the theft of coins and artefacts, the RTMNU’s flip-flop has been glaring. Initially, the University was reluctant to institute a departmental probe, saying that the coins were not NU property, but were gifted by a farmer called Deshmukh in 1967. After sustained pressures, the varsity announced a one-man probe under noted historian B R Andhare. Then, despite not being an expert in the field, the Vice-Chancellor himself decided to conduct investigations and prepared a questionnaire for the four suspects. It was only after that another six coins of Vakataka era, which were excavated at the same time and had been entered into the NU stock register, were also missing that the NU administration decided to lodge a police complaint. Shockingly, then the police refused to register a complaint citing lame excuses.