Judicial probe into ‘missing keys’ to Puri temple treasury

first_imgThe Naveen Patnaik government has ordered a judicial inquiry into the non-availability of keys to the Ratna Bhandar (treasury) of the 12th-century Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri.A controversy erupted recently when Puri District Collector Arvind Agarwal observed in a temple management committee meeting that there was no information confirming the availability of the keys. “The inquiry will be conducted by a retired High Court judge and will be completed within three months,” said a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office here on Monday.Two months ago, on April 4, the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration made an attempt to open the inner chamber of the treasury for inspection. They could not open the room for want of the keys to it, and had to return after peeping into the chamber through a broken window.In the past two decades, the administration has twice tried to assess the valuable ornaments stored in the treasury, but failed in face of opposition from a section of people serving the temple, who maintain that it would hurt the sentiments of the devotees. According to information provided by Law Minister Pratap Jena in the last Assembly session, assessment of valuables stocked in the treasury was last carried out in 1978. He said that the treasury had 128 kg of gold ornaments.Meanwhile, Jagannath Sena, an outfit that raises issues concerning the temple, sought a probe by the CBI into the “missing keys” of the treasury. Past experience, the Jagannath Sena alleged, showed that judicial inquiries in the State yielded no results.last_img

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