One of the worst crises in the recent troubled political history of Kashmir was the sudden disappearance of the holy relic of the Prophet Mohammad from the Hazratbal shrine in Srinagar on December 27, 1963.
The relic is believed to have been brought to India in 1635 by Syed Abdullah. It was then passed through his son Syed Hamid to a Kashmiri merchant named Nooruddin. It is said that in the late 17th century, the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb imprisoned Nooruddin and seized the relic, moving it to the Sufi tomb in Ajmer. Aurangzeb returned the relic in 1700 after Nooruddin had died. The relic was preserved by his descendants and kept in a place that later became the Hazratbal Shrine
The theft of holy relic in December 1963 triggered a massive crisis across Kashmir Valley. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru tasked B.N. Mullick to investigate the matter and recover the holy relic.
On 4 January 1964, the relic was recovered. The post theft crisis was so severe that upon discovery of the holy relic, Prime Minister Nehru complimented B.N. Mullick by saying “you saved Kashmir for India”.
On 17 January 1964, Home Minister Gulzari Lal Nanda named the three people who were arrested for the theft. They included three Kashmiris namely, Abdul Rahim Bandey, Abdul Rashid and Kadir Butt. | The Dispatch