Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Orders Judicial Inquiry As Sri Jagannath Temple's Ratnabhandar Keys Go Missing

| June 4 , 2018 , 15:52 IST

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has ordered a judicial probe into the circumstances leading to the 'non-availability' of keys of the Ratna Bhandar of Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri. The inquiry will be conducted by a retired judge of the High Court and will be concluded within three months. 

The matter came to light on Sunday when the Temple Managing Committee member Ramchandra Das Mahapatra revealed that the keys of the Treasury’s inner chambers had gone missing. This was recorded on April 04, when a team consisting of 16 members visited the ‘Ratna Bhandar’ for an inspection following the orders of the Orissa High Court.

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The Ratna Bhandar comprises 7 chambers out of which the first and second are the outer chambers and the rest are inner chambers. Entry in the inner chambers is restricted to limited officials. During the inspection, an official of Jagannath Temple Administration said that the inner chambers are visible from outside so the team can observe from the iron grill following which the officials used searchlights to inspect the inner chamber.

BJP and the Shankaracharya of Puri lashed out at the government as the news broke. The BJP accused the BJD government of neglecting Lord Jagannath.

“The chief minister should give a clarification on how the key of the temple’s inner treasury went missing and who is responsible for it,” state BJP spokesman Pitambar Acharya had said.