BJP Demands Immediate Steps To Open Ratna Bhandar Of Puri Jagannath Temple This Month To Dispel Suspicion

Bhubaneswar: Senior BJP leader and party’s former Odisha unit president Samir Mohanty on Thursday demanded immediate steps to open the Ratna Bhandar of Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri this month for thorough assessment of valuables stored inside.

Stating that there is an atmosphere of disbelief among the people, he claimed that there are proofs of ‘loot’ of the treasury of the 12th century shrine. Therefore, the Ratna Bhandar should be opened to undertake complete inventory of gold and silver ornaments, gems and jewelleries this month itself.

The senior BJP leader said that people of the state are not ready to wait another year to know about the exact details of the Ratna Bhandar. The state government must take immediate steps to open the Ratna Bhandar now instead of waiting for the Rath Yatra next year, he said.

The demand has come at a time when the figures of silver ornaments in the Ratna Bhandar counted last in 1978 and in the affidavit filed by the Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) in the High Court recently mismatched. 

Stating that the Ratna Bhandar has not been opened for the last 45 years after 1978, Mohanty said the recorded figures of the last count, details presented in the state Assembly and figures given in the court affidavit are not matching.

As this creates suspicion, the ornaments of the Ratna Bhandar should be inventorised without waiting till next Rath Yatra, the BJP leader said. 

Stating that the Shree Jagannath Temple Managing Committee has decided in a hurry to open the Ratna Bhandar during the next Rath Yatra in view of the case pending in the court, he said the state government must take steps for opening the treasury immediately as the issue has triggered suspicion in the people’s mind.

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