SGPC mulls legal action against Sotheby's over armour

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New Delhi, Apr 4 (UNI) The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) today vowed to sue the auction house Sotheby's, acussing it of deliberately linking a steel armour, going under the hammer on April 9, to tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh to boost its sales.

''We are not sparing Sotheby's. We are sending a committee of experts to look into the matter,'' SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar told a news conference here.

However, Sotheby's had said already clarified that the body armour did not belong to the tenth Sikh Guru.

''At the moment, it appears that the auction house deliberately linked the armour plate with the revered Guri to boost its sales.

We will sue it if our suspicions are confirmed,'' Mr Makkar said.

Sikh organisations across the country had petitioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, held demonstrations, and shot off protest letters to the Indian High Commission in London and Sotheby's, seeking the return of the rectangular 29-by-21-cm-body armour to Sikhs.

London-based Sikh businessmen and Gurdwaras were rallying to bid for the armour valued at 10-12,000 pounds (20,000-24,000 dollars) after a heritage website alerted Sikhs about the auction.

''It is important that you know that Sotheby's does not consider the Sikh armour plate to be a relic of Guru Gobind Singh, as our cataloguing and estimate clearly indicate,'' a spokesman for the auction house said in a statement on Wednesday following protests by Sikhs in India.

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