WB: Prime suspect in Nobel theft case murdered

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Bolpur, Sep 11: The CBI is likely to reopen the case of theft of Tagore's nobel medallion from the Vishva Bharati museum on March 25, 2004, following the murder of prime suspect in the case Jiban Bagdi at Kirnahar this morning.

Police said Jiban(40) 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 - Tagore's gold watch, ornaments and ivory artefacts - could not be recovered.

The CBI had also announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for information leading to recovery of the medal and 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 (CID) started a probe into the matter. Later, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee handed over the probe to the CBI.

Tagore had received the Nobel Prize 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 Vishva 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.''

UNI

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