With the search operation by the police to trace the Padma Vibhushan medal conferred on poet laureate Kuvempu going nowhere, the Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Pratishthana has decided to request the office of the President of India and Ministry of Home Affairs to issue a replica.
Kadidal Prakash, secretary of the pratishthana, told The Hindu that help has been sought from the Delhi Karnataka Sangha on the process of submitting an application for a replica of the medal. The issue has been discussed with senior officials of the Department of Kannada and Culture also. Although the medal has been stolen, the sanad (certificate) issued along with it by the then President is intact in the museum, he said.
Mr. Prakash said that the pratishthana has pictures of the medal. In case a replica is denied, we will get one designed with the help of skilled artists, he said.
The Padma Vibhushan medal and two metal badges issued by University of Mysore, which were displayed at the museum in Kuppalli, the native of Kuvempu, were burgled on November 23.
Based on the CCTV footage, the police had arrested Revanasiddappa, a resident of Turuchaghatta village in Davangere district. The medal was displayed at the museum with a metal clasp. During interrogation, the accused told the police that the hook in the metal clasp broke when he was carrying it and the medal got lost.
Superintendent of Police Ravi Channannavar said that all efforts were made to trace the medal. The police prepared a map of the route, which the burglar took after executing the crime. A search was conducted along this route by using metal detectors and magnetic locators. The police personnel also searched the nearby forest. A cash award of Rs. 10,000 was announced as well. Despite this, the medal was not found, Mr. Channannavar said.
Mr. Prakash said he would request the police to set up a permanent outpost in Kuppalli village to avoid such incidents in future.
The trust has pictures of the medal. In case a replica is denied, we will get one designed with the help of skilled artists
Kadidal Prakash, secretary, Rashtrakavi Kuvempu Pratishthana