India’s U-Turn over Koh-i-Noor Claim

New Delhi: The Indian government says it is still seeking to reclaim the Koh-i-Noor diamond from Britain, despite telling India’s Supreme Court otherwise.

The gem came into British hands in the 19th Century and is part of the Crown Jewels on show at the Tower of London.

Ownership of the priceless gem is an emotional issue for many Indians, who believe it was stolen by the British. On Monday, India’s solicitor-general had told the court that it was “neither stolen nor forcibly taken”.

Ranjit Kumar, who was representing India’s government in the hearing, had said the 105-carat diamond had been “gifted” to the East India Company by the former rulers of Punjab in 1849.

But a statement by India’s ministry of culture on Tuesday said the government “further reiterates its resolve to make all possible efforts to bring back the Koh-i-Noor diamond in an amicable manner”.

Mr. Kumar’s comments, which elicited surprise in India, did not represent the views of the government, the statement said. The official submission to the court has yet to be made, it added.

India, Koh-i-Noor, Ranjit Kumar,