Rajendra Prasad's gold Rolex watch to be auctioned

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Rajendra Prasad
New Delhi, Oct 24: The auction of Rolex wrist watch presented to the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad in 1950 on India's first Republic Day will come up soon only leaving the family of Prasad worried.

According to reports, the watch will be up for auction by Sotheby in Geneva on Nov 13.

"We have no idea how the historic watch reached there after all these years," said Tara Sinha, Prasad's grand- daughter.

"It is shocking to know it is being auctioned," she said

She further said that she had written to President Prathibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar besides Chief Minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar so that they take necessary steps to stop the auction of the watch and bring it back.

She also met Sukhda Pandey, Bihar's minister for art and culture in this regard and said, "the minister has promised to talk to the CM in this regard."

The rare watch is an 18K pink gold Rolex with the dial having India's map and date '26 January 1950' inscribed on it. It is estimated that the watch could be sold between $ 222,000 and $ 444,000 (Rs.1 crore- Rs.2 crore).

According to Sinha, a retired professor of English, Patna University, the watch was stolen from her house, Old Sadaquat Ashram, Patna in 1964.

"But we are not sure if the same watch is going under the hammer," she said. "I was too young then," she said.

Sinha further said that she did not remember who gifted the watch to her grandfather adding that the man who gave the watch to Sotheby's for auctioning did this as "anonymous". She also appealed to the Indian government that action be taken before the watch's auction that is scheduled to be held on Nov 13 and said that the watch should be returned to India according to Unesco charter of 1970.

"One of my nephews sent an email to the Indian ambassador in Switzerland but has not received any response," said Sinha adding that the no action was taken by the Union government in this regard.

She further said that a British journalist had called her and quoted Sotheby's official as saying that both the Indian government and Prasad's family did not approach the auctioneer yet in this regard.

"But how can we approach them?" she said. "The government should do it since it is the nation's property," she said.

OneIndia News

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