Darjeeling, Sep 14 (IANS) Roy Villa, an over a century old heritage building in West Bengal’s Darjeeling where Sister Nivedita breathed her last, was ransacked and a few of her personal items were stolen, police said on Thursday.
“We received a report of ransacking and burglary at the Roy Villa on Wednesday night. The case is being investigated. No one has been detained or arrested yet in the incident,” Darjeeling Superintendent of Police (SP) Akhilesh Kumar Chaturvedi told IANS.
The villa, on Lebong Cart Road, houses Ramakrishna Mission Nivedita Educational and Cultural Centre, a branch centre of Ramakrishna Mission Belur Math, Howrah. Sister Nivedita died here on October 13, 1911.
According to Swami Nityasatyananda, Secretary of the Centre, the Thakur Ghar (shrine of Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda) and the Scots-Irish social worker’s personal room were broken into and certain items like a radio set, watch, typewriter, were stolen.
Sister Nivedita’s 150th birth anniversary is being marked across the country.
“Some of her personal items from the room where she breathed her last were stolen. Some wood work was vandalised. Even the donation box was broken and around Rs 60,000 may have been taken. This is probably the first such incident in a long time in a Ramakrishna Mission building,” the Secretary told IANS.
He said the police had assured them of additional security.
“There are usually three security officials in the building. The structure is also under renovation now. The miscreants damaged the gate and entered. Our staff alerted us when they entered on Thursday morning,” Swami Nityasatyananda said, adding there were no initial suspects.
“Somebody is probably trying to malign the organisation’s name,” he said.
Nivedita was born Margaret Elizabeth Noble. She was a social worker, author, teacher and a disciple of Swami Vivekananda.