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Ustad Bismillah Khan’s stolen shehnais recovered, grandson among three arrested

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Ustad’s grandson Nazre Hasan sold the shehnais for a meagre Rs. 17,000.

Ustad Bismillah Khan (Courtesy of YouTube)

Shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan’s grandson and two jewellers were arrested on Tuesday by Uttar Pradesh police for allegedly stealing and selling his shehnais.

Ustad’s grandson Nazre Hasan alias Shadab,30, sold the shehnais for a meagre Rs. 17,000 to the jewellers identified as Shankar Lal and his son Sujeet Kumar. The jewellers allegedly melted the silver shehnais after purchasing them from Nazre Hasan.

The UP Speical Task Force officers arrested the three from Chowk area and recovered 1.66 kg of silver produced by melting the silver shehnais. The wooden frame with a silver base was also found.

Nazre Hasan,who is unemployed, is the son of Khan’s elder son Kazim Hussain. Kazim Hassan had got an FIR lodged at Chowk police station on December 5,2016, alleging thieves had broken into his ancestral house at Hardaha Sarai and stolen five shehnais belonging to the Ustad.

According to the family, the shehnais were very precious for the maestro as they had been gifted to him by former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao, Kapil Sibbal and Lalu Prasad Yadav. He used to play them only on special occasions, including Muharram.

“We suspected the role of relatives from the beginning, and kept a close watch on activities of all family members. We recently received a tip-off that Nazre Hasan was planning to leave Varanasi. We kept him under watch,”  The India Express quoted ASP (STF) S Anand.

“On Tuesday morning, we came to know he is leaving for Assam. We picked him up from near the house and brought him to local STF office for questioning. During interrogation, Nazre Hasan confessed to have stolen the shehnais. He also said he had sold the instrument at Shankar Jewellers for Rs 17,000,” ASP added.