HYDERABAD: Priceless items belonging to the seventh Nizam including a diamond-studded gold tiffin box, a gold teacup, two saucers and a spoon, were stolen from the Nizam’s Museum in Pathargatti by unidentified persons on the intervening night of Sunday and Monday. According to the police, the thieves scaled the museum housed on the first floor of Purani Haveli, dislodged a four-feet wide ventilator, climbed into the room using a rope and stole the antiques.
City historian Mohammad Safiullah said, “When these were gifted, the price of gold was around Rs 1,800 per kg.” Going by the current conversion rate, the price of the gold tiffin box alone would be around Rs 55 lakh. Taking into consideration the historical value and its antiqueness, its market value could well be beyond Rs 1 crore.
The theft was noticed on Monday morning by private security guards while opening the museum. They found that the case empty and the locks broken. “The thieves even turned the lens of the CCTV cameras away from the antiques,” SHO of the Mirchowk Police Station S Balu Chouhan said which indicated that it was a handiwork of professionals. Investigators believe that the offenders would have visited the museum and conducted a recce more than once before finally executing their plan.
"We do not rule out the involvement of insiders,’’ a police official associated with the investigation said adding that even the private security personnel were lax. "There were no proper security measures at the museum and the private security should have taken adequate measures. Even the CCTVs are outdated and not functioning properly,’’ the official said.
The ventilator from where the thief/thieves came into the room which housed the antiques pic.twitter.com/BLYMF5P7sH— Aihik Sur (@AihikSur) September 4, 2018
“There were at least five security guards present in the museum at night. However, they were at opposite end. The lighting in place were theft took place was not adequate,” Chouhan said, while asserting that at least two persons were involved in the incident. A case has been registered under Secs 460 and 380 of IPC.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar also visited the Museum and reviewed the incident. Meanwhile condemning the incident, Nawab Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of Nizam VII, held the security guards and Nizam’s Jubilee Pavilion Trust — the handlers of the museum — responsible for the incident.
Khan said, “Considering the intrinsic value of the artefacts in the museum there should have been stricter security. This is complete mismanagement of the administration,” he said.
The golden tiffin box, studded with diamonds, is one of the many priceless antiques which belongs to Nizams. A huge and highly valued collection of over 170 jewels including the famous Jacob diamond, emeralds, pearls, are all locked up in vaults of RBI, and descendants of last Nizam of Hyderabad have earlier urged the Nizam’s jewels to be brought back to Hyderabad from Delhi, and to be put at a museum.