48 chairs reported missing: PU panel wants heritage furniture identified

After the sociology department of Panjab University (PU) reported that 48 of its chairs had gone missing, a special panel at the institute has asked for the identification and verification of heritage furniture.

The panel, which has been set up for verification and identification of heritage furniture in the university, made the observation at a meeting on Wednesday after a complaint about the missing chairs by the superintendent of the sociology department on November 12 was sent to the station house officer (SHO) at the Sector 11 police station.

The missing furniture included 36 chairs from the department’s seminar hall at the ground floor, 10 chairs from the second floor hall and two chairs from the superintendent’s office.

After deliberations on the case, the panel headed by Navdeep Goyal on Wednesday asked for the verification of heritage furniture by experts from PU’s architecture office.

Further proceedings after verification

A member of the panel on condition of anonymity said, “The physical verification of the furniture will be done as per the respective official records to find out if any heritage furniture is missing at the departments, based on which we will proceed further.”

The inspection report will be placed in the next meeting of the panel that’s scheduled for Friday. The panel has also requested the chairpersons of the sociology and political science departments (both departments are situated in the same block) to attend the meeting on Friday and furnish records that include stock entry register and details of dealing officials.

Commenting on the matter, the chief of PU security, Ashwani Koul said, “On November 1, the (sociology) department informed our office that some chairs were missing but said they would themselves investigate the matter first.”

The complaint addressed to the SHO of the Sector 11 police station received by us was immediately sent there, Koul added.

International markets

According to a list compiled by the Chandigarh Heritage Inventory Committee in 2012, there are 12,793 heritage items, of which a large number are in the possession of the Government Museum and Art Gallery, Sector 10, besides a huge stock of chairs and tables at the Punjab and Haryana civil secretariat and Vidhan Sabha, and the high court. The physical verification of these items has yet to be completed. Panjab University too owns a number of such items.

Some of the heritage furniture has turned up mysteriously in international markets to be auctioned at exorbitant prices to bidders across the world.

The UT administration has been struggling to stop the auction of these items and those stolen from different departments and institutions

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