Customs hands over rare East India Company telescope to ASI

07:25 PM Feb 29, 2024 | PTI |

The Customs Department on Thursday handed over a 206-year-old tracker telescope of the British East India Company to the Archaeological Survey of India.


The rare telescope was seized in 2018 near Rangia in Assam’s Kamrup district by the Customs sleuths when it was being smuggled from West Bengal to Bhutan, Central Excise and Customs Chief Commissioner (Guwahati Zone) Bandhana Deori told reporters here.

”After its seizure by the Guwahati Customs Division, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was requested to verify its genuineness,” she added.

The expert committee of ASI, Kolkata examined the telescope and confirmed the seized tracker telescope with the inscription ‘UK EAST INDIA COMPANY, 1818, SI.NO.LEO103’ and engraved with a logo of a crown, a spider and a scorpion, Deori said.

”Declaring it as an antique item, the ASI further informed the Customs that this is a navigational and observation tool used by the British East India Company during the early 19th Century and it was designed for a variety of purposes, including navigation, exploration and warfare,” she added.


The seized tracker telescope and documents were handed over by Customs Division Guwahati Deputy Commissioner Varun Yadav to ASI Assistant Superintending Archaeologist Anurag here in the virtual presence of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman from New Delhi.


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