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Prime suspect in Nobel theft case murdered
September 11, 2008 15:39 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation is likely to reopen the case of the theft of Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel medallion from the Vishwa Bharati museum on March 25, 2004, following the murder of prime suspect in the case Jiban Bagdi at Kirnahar on Thursday morning.
According to the police, Jiban was murdered by unknown assailants at Parata village in Kirnahar, about 30 km from Bolpur.
He had been arrested in connection with the case and interrogated. However, he was released later as the CBI failed to make any headway in the case.
After over three years of investigation that drew a blank, the CBI announced on September 1, 2007, that they had decided to stop the inquiry and close the case.
CBI sources said the case had been closed as its investigation had reached a dead end.
Besides the medallion, the other memorabilia which went missing in the March 2004 theft included Tagore's gold watch, ornaments and ivory artifacts, which were never recovered.
The CBI had also announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information leading to recovery of the medal and even sought the Interpol's help.
Tagore's Nobel medallion and 43 other items were stolen from Rabindra Bhavan in Santiniketan on March 25, 2004.
Initially, the West Bengal police and Criminal Investigation Department started a probe into the matter. Later, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee handed over the probe to the CBI.
Tagore had received the Nobel Prize [Images] in 1913 for literature for his work of verses Gitanjali.
After the theft, the Nobel foundation handed over two replicas of the stolen medallion to Vishwa Bharati University in 2005.
Meanwhile, CBI sources said, ''Announcement of the investigation being closed was just a formality, as during that time, we did not have any clue on which we could have based our probe. Now if we get some clues, we will reopen the investigation.''
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