Raghubir Das Commission submits report to Odisha govt on missing Ratna Bhandar keys

Bhubaneswar: Justice Raghubir Das Inquiry Commission has submitted its final probe report on mysterious loss of the keys of Jagannath temple’s inner Ratna Bhandar (treasury) to the Odisha government, an official informed.

The Commission submitted a 324-page report to the Home Department on Friday. Sources said the report will be tabled in the Assembly, officials have not been informed about the findings of the judicial panel.

As per its terms of reference (ToR), the Commission probed the sequence of events and circumstances leading to the reported non-availability of the keys of the inner chamber of the Ratna Bhandar, the role, conduct and accountability of individuals/groups/authorities for the reported non-availability of the keys and any other matter connected with or incidental thereto and measures to be taken to avoid recurrence of such event in future.

The Commission of Inquiry was formed June 6 and was first instructed to submit its report within three months. However, the tenure of the panel was subsequently extended by another three months.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had on June 4 ordered a judicial probe into the circumstances leading to the non-availability of the keys of Ratna Bhandar.

Notably, the copies of the proceedings of the temple managing body meeting held on April 4 had revealed that the loss of keys of the inner chambers of the Ratna Bhandar was reported by the Puri Collector who informed the meeting that despite searches, the missing keys could not be found.

However, a team of Puri district administration on June 13 found a set of keys in a strong box of the District Record Room. Collector Arvind Agarwal informed mediapersons that the keys were found in a sealed envelope carrying a tag of ‘duplicate keys of Bhitara Bhandar’.

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