In February 2020, the Indian media was agog with excitement. According to a Supreme Court judgment in 2019, the court-appointed special commissioner, Saurabh Saxena, was to open the Treasure Vault or the ‘Shahi Khazana’ of the Nawabs of Rampur, in Khasbagh Palace in Rampur city, Uttar Pradesh, and distribute its contents among various heirs.
The vault, which had been unopened for more than 40 years, had no keys, and five expert welders drilled for hours and hours to break open the 6-tonne, 8-foot-tall iron door of the strong room. But it would not yield. As the welders tried to break in, outside, news teams were running frenzied stories, speculating about a hidden treasure worth thousands of crores of rupees. Everyone listened, watched and waited with bated breath.
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