Grandson steals Bismillah Khan's shehnais

BBC | Published: 21:35, Jan 11,2017 | Updated: 21:47, Jan 11,2017

Ustad Bismillah Khan

Ustad Bismillah Khan. -- AFP file photo

The grandson of late Indian musician Ustad Bismillah Khan has been arrested for stealing and selling five instruments belonging to the maestro.

Four of the shehnais - a type of wind instrument - had been made of silver and had been gifted to Khan by various people, including former prime minister Narasimha Rao.

Police in the northern Indian city of Varanasi told BBC Hindi that the instruments had been melted down.

Two others have also been arrested.

Khan, a recipient of India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna (Jewel of India), is credited with elevating the status of the shehnai in India. He died in 2006.

Gyanendra Nath Prasad of the Varanasi police said they had acted on a complaint by Khan's son Kazim Hussain that the instruments had been stolen from his residence.

He added that they had seized 1kg of silver from a city jeweller, who is believed to have bought the instruments from Khan's grandson Nazar-e Alam and melted them down.

The fifth shehnai, which only had some silver work, had been recovered from Alam's house, police said.

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