06/08/2016 12:16 PM IST | Updated 06/08/2016 12:38 PM IST

Bengal Govt Wants To Take Over Tagore Nobel Theft Probe, To Approach CBI

Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

BURDWAN -- West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her government is "in the process" of approaching the CBI for handing over to it the responsibility of investigating the theft of Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel medallion.

"We are in the process of approaching the central probe agency expressing our willingness to take over responsibility of the poet's Nobel medallion theft probe," Banerjee told reporters after an administrative meeting with the Burdwan district authority.

"If the state government was given the responsibility, it can try to retrieve the Nobel medallion of Rabindranath Tagore lost in 2004 from the Visva Bharati University," she said.

Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee said the process would begin after his return to Kolkata and he would write a letter to the CBI expressing the state government's willingness to take over the probe.

Yesterday, the CM had said at Santiniketan after visiting the Visva Bharati University, "If CBI can't, we can look for Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel."

She said it was a matter of shame that Tagore s Nobel medallion was stolen.

"The Nobel medallion was stolen with other memorabilia. Now a replica has replaced it. This is a matter of shame for me. The CBI is investigating the matter and so far has no success. If they can t, then we might give it a try if given a chance. My emotions are attached to it," she had said during her visit to Shantiniketan.

She also met officials of the Visva-Bharati University from where the medallion was stolen.

Tagore s memorabilia, including the medallion, disappeared on March 25, 2004, from the university s Rabindra Bhavan museum. Mamata, at the time, had held a demonstration and demanded a CBI probe.

In 2010, the CBI had closed its investigation into the theft of the country's first Nobel prize medal awarded to Tagore in 1913 and other memorabilia citing dearth of clues.

The then CBI director, Ashwini Kumar, had said the probe could be reopened if more information came its way.

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