India will not claim Kohinoor diamond

The Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's priceless crown, containing the famous Koh-i-noor diamond, rests on her coffin on a Gun Carriage pulled by the Royal Horse Artillery to Westminster Hall.Image copyright

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The diamond was displayed on top of the late Queen Mother’s crown when her coffin lay in state after her death in 2002

The Indian government has said that the country should relinquish its claim to the Kohinoor diamond.

Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar told the Supreme Court that it was “neither stolen nor forcibly taken away.”

He said the diamond had been “gifted” to the East India company by the former rulers of Punjab.

The Kohinoor, part of the British crown jewels for 150 years, is an emotional issue for many Indians who believe it was “stolen” by the British.

Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, said a few years ago that it should be returned as “atonement for the colonial past”.

However, successive British prime ministers have refused to do so.

Most recently, David Cameron said that returning it would set an “unworkable precedent”.

“If you say yes to one you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty,” he told Indian media during a trip to the country in 2010.

The 105-carat diamond was last worn by the late Queen Mother and was displayed on top of her crown when her coffin lay in state after her death in 2002.

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