The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Raid regains golden Gulistan

Gaya, June 16: The copy of Gulistan bearing Aurangzeb’s golden calligraphy was recovered following a raid on a village this evening.

The 102 pages of the manuscript, stolen from Tekari Raj School in December, was found at the house of one Butai Singh, a member of the gang that committed the burglary, at Chhakkan Bigha village in Paraiya police station, about 30km from here.

The district police had retrieved 19 pages, including the cover, of the manuscript from another member of the gang, Bajrangi Singh, on Thursday. With today’s haul, the manuscript, copied by the Mughal emperor from the original Gulistan, or Rose Garden, written by Persian philosopher Sheikh Saadi, is complete in itself.

According to Gaya superintendent of police Amit Jain, the remaining pages of the manuscript — written in golden ink — were recovered from the house of Butai, who however, escaped.

The book was kept in the school locker for centuries after being gifted by the king of Tekari to the school once opened by the Tekari Raj family.

Butai is reportedly one of the active members of the gang, which committed the burglary on December 11, 2006, to steal the rare manuscript by breaking open the locker. The gang also took help of two skilled iron safe and lock breakers to execute the operation.

However, the manuscript lost its original bind, as it was torn open by the thieves in the past few months while trying it to sell it in parts.

The rare manuscript, copied by the Mughal emperor, a gifted calligrapher, would cost several millions in international market. In fact, the negotiation between the plainclothes policemen and Bajrangi Singh had gone to the tune of Rs 50 lakh, when the police overpowered the man at a hotel here to get hold of the 19 pages on Thursday.

Two back-to-back raids were conducted on Butai’s house in the past couple of days to recover the manuscript. The first raid was conducted late on Friday night, but the cops returned empty-handed. In the second raid conducted this evening, the police succeeded in recovering the remaining pages of the manuscript.

Jain said that a note in Urdu on a separate sheet claimed that the price of the book was Rs 1 lakh at the time of its writing and it was gifted to one of the rulers of central India for a token amount of Rs 10,000.

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