United Kingdom to return Chhatrapati Shivaji’s iconic ‘wagh nakh’

The United Kingdom will return the iconic 'wagh nakh', a dagger reminiscent of tiger claws, which was used by Maratha ruler Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to assassinate Afzal Khan.

The United Kingdom has decided to return Shivaji's iconic 'wagh nakh' to India. Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia Commons

Khan was the general of the Bijapur sultanate.

The 'wagh nakh' has been on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

State Cultural Affairs Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar is scheduled to visit London later this month to formalise the return through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Zee News reported.

According to reports, the iconic 'wagh nakh' is expected to return to India this year.

Mungantiwar was quoted as saying by the news channel, "We have received confirmation from UK authorities that they are willing to return Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's 'wagh nakh.' We are considering bringing it back to coincide with the anniversary of Shivaji's slaying of Afzal Khan, based on the Hindu calendar. We are also exploring alternative dates and making arrangements for the transportation of the 'wagh nakh.'"

To facilitate this significant return, a team comprising Mungantiwar, Dr Vikas Kharge (Principal Secretary, Culture), and Dr Tejas Garge (Director of the State's Directorate of Archaeology and Museums) will visit the Victoria and Albert Museum and other museums in London. The government resolution from the Cultural Affairs Department outlines an estimated expenditure of approximately Rs 50 lakh (USD 60,290) for this six-day visit, scheduled from September 29 to October 4, the Indian news channel reported.