NEW DELHI: Nearly a month after child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi's Nobel citation was stolen from his home here, the police suspect the accused might have destroyed it assuming it was "just a piece of paper".
Three persons were arrested on February 12 in connection with the theft of the Nobel replica, the citation and other valuables from Satyarthi's Kalkaji home in southeast Delhi.
While the Nobel replica and other stolen items were recovered, the citation has not been found yet and the police say they have "no leads" on it.
"We suspect that they might have thrown it away or destroyed it completely thinking it to be a piece of paper," said a senior police officer.
The officer said the three accused have not accepted stealing the citation during their interrogation so far, but the police is treating the case as "still open".
"The three accused, who were arrested, do not know the value of the citation. There is no possibility of them having hidden it somewhere so that they can reap profit by putting it in the market after few years," he said.
Earlier, the police reconstructed the routes the accused could have taken when they fled from Satyarthi's residence.
The accused had told police they had thrown away the items that were of "no use to them" in some bushes near DDA flats in Kalkaji.
Those leads were studied but there was no trace of the citation even as Satyarthi's stolen shawl was found.
The police also questioned hundreds of morning-walkers and ragpickers on the route allegedly taken by the accused but could not find any clue about the missing citation.
Satyarthi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. He shared the honour with Pakistan's child rights activist Malala Yousafzai.
Satyarthi had presented his Nobel medal to President Pranab Mukherjee in January, 2015. The original medal has been preserved and is now on display at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum.