Sunday, Jun 29, 2003
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By Our Staff Reporter
Handed over to Gen. Jasjit Aurora at Dhaka by Gen. Niazi following Pakistan's defeat in the Bangladesh War, the pistol was part of the Naval collection at the Maritime Gallery of the Museum.
The incident came to light around 12.30 p.m today, when the Naval officer stationed at the gallery found the pistol missing from its glass case.
He immediately alerted the guards of the Central Industrial Security Force who closed all the exits and the museum was shut for the day.
The case was handed over to the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police.
According to police, the glass case had apparently been unscrewed and the gun taken out. Unlike the others, the Naval Gallery was not fitted with closed-circuit cameras.
With only the gun missing from the museum, sources claimed that the culprit knew exactly what he wanted and was familiar with the security arrangements.
The police have questioned the Chief Petty Officer, Akbar Ali, officer in-charge of the gallery at the time.
While the disappearance of a national treasure from within the National Museum raises the larger question of security, everyone on Saturday appeared to be busy passing the buck.
With the National Museum staff and the CISF personnel washing their hands of the whole incident and blaming the Navy, no one seems to be addressing the security lapse.
For its part, the Navy claimed that the officers stationed at the Maritime Museum were not there to protect the exhibits but to act as guides.
Meanwhile, an emotionally-choked Gen. Aurora said: "I wanted to display the pistol at the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun where I studied. But the Government brought it to Delhi. Now they must find it."
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