A famous diamond at the center of a historic ownership battle involving at least four countries belongs to Britain and was not stolen, India’s government said on Monday.
The 108-carat Koh-i-Noor gem, which is part of the Queen Mother’s Crown, was gifted to Britain during the colonial era by Sikh king Ranjit Singh, India’s Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said, according to the Agence France-Presse.
A handful of countries, including India, have laid claims to the gem. The All India Human Rights & Social Justice Front, a non-governmental organization, had filed legal proceedings in London’s High Court to get the diamond back. A group leading the fight for its return says the diamond was stolen from India, Business Insider reported.
India’s solicitor general said that was not the case. “It was given voluntarily by Ranjit Singh to the British as compensation for help in the Sikh Wars,” he said in court. “The Koh-i-Noor is not a stolen object.”