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Odisha LoP urges CM for audit of Ratna Bhandar ornaments in

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Press Trust of India Bhubaneswar
Leader of opposition in Odisha Assembly Pradipta Kumar Naik on Tuesday asked the state government to open the Ratna Bhandar of the Shree Jagannath Temple and make an inventory of the ornaments stored there.
Precious jewellery and ornaments of the deities of the 12th century temple are stored in the 'Ratna Bhandar' and only three of its seven chambers could be opened in 2018.
Keys of the other four chambers of the treasury of the temple had reportedly gone missing.
The inventory of the valuables was last compiled in 1978, Naik said.
Mentioning that devotees across the country are concerned over the safety of the valuables in the treasury ever since the issue of the missing keys of the 'Ratna Bhandar' came to the fore in 2018, the BJP MLA said, the state government should take the initiative to open it immediately and make a proper audit of the ornaments stored there.
"I request you to conduct an audit immediately and reassure the people that our Lords wealth is safe. The 'Ratna Bhandar' should be opened and the list of jewellery should be matched with the inventory prepared in 1978, Naik wrote to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
If any discrepancy is found with the inventory compiled in 1978, necessary steps must be taken to unearth the mystery, he wrote in the letter.
The 'Ratna Bhandar' of Shree Jagannath Temple at Puri had more than 120 kg of gold and 221 kg of silver 40 years back when the last inventory of the valuables was made.
"Though the missing of the Ratna Bhandar keys came to the fore 16 months back, the state government has not taken any step till now about safety of the valuable ornaments of Lord Jagannath, which is very unfortunate, Naik mentioned in the letter.
Describing the setting up of a judicial commission on the issue of the missing keys of the 'Ratna Bhandar' as a "worthless exercise, Naik said, nothing of significance happened.
"The judicial commission has submitted the final report to the state government. But, unfortunately neither any action was taken nor did the government initiate opening up of the 'Ratna Bhandar'," Naik said.

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First Published: Oct 29 2019 | 3:45 PM IST

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