Bring Gurus relics to Punjab for display

PRATAPMaharaja Partap Singh (Centre), Patiala State Archives

The rare relics of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru, lying in private custody of New Delhi-based Hanumant Singh, descendant of Maharaja Partap Singh of Nabha, will soon be brought to Punjab with full state honours.

The heirlooms are a part of the glorious heritage of Sikh community and ought to be on public display at a proper place like the Anandpur Sahib Khalsa Heritage Museum, Punjab and Haryana high court chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur said on Wednesday. The division bench, comprising the chief justice and justice Jasbir Singh, directed the respondents – Maharaja Partap Singh Trust – to file an affidavit on their commitment to surrender the relics to government.

Accepting the trust counsel's plea that the contribution of Nabha state be duly highlighted wherever the relics are put on display, the CJ said a plaque could be installed. The counsel contended that people were eager to keep the mementos in Nabha only, as wished by late Maharaja Partap Singh. The bench directed that an officer of the rank of deputy commissioner be deputed to bring the relics from the national capital.

The court directions were issued following a plea that the rare relics, including the Sikh Guru's sword, manuscripts and combs among others, which were handed over to the Nabha royalty during the tenth Sikh master's time, were not a private property. The souvenirs were initially kept in Hira Mahal but were moved to Delhi after it was closed following the death of Maharaja Partap Singh.

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