Carry out review of Ratna Bhandar management: Puri Shankaracharya

Puri: Puri Shankaracharya Nischalananda Saraswati on Tuesday urged for a detailed review on the management of ‘Ratna Bhandar’ – the treasure trove of Lord Jagannath.

“There is a need to review the management of Ratna Bhandar in all these years. The Culture & Law ministers of the State Government, High Court, temple administration, Gajapati and servitors should review on how and when the present functioning system of Ratna Bhandar came into existence. An inspection of the present inventory of Ratnas (valuables) and other materials stashed in the chamber must be carried out and matched with the previous stock. I believe it is important to prevent any kind of mismanagement and irregularities in the temple,” Shankaracharya said.

He further stated that there have been deliberate attempts to tarnish the religious leadership at the 12-th century shrine. “In last 24 years, despite being disrespected by the temple administrators on multiple occasions, I had never resorted to politics. The temple is affected due to attempts to disregard the religious leadership and as a result the whole of the state is suffering,” he said.

Meanwhile as the row over missing Ratna Bhandar key continues to heat up, the Puri district administration has welcomed the decision for a judicial probe into the matter.

“We are ready to fully cooperate in the probe to trace out the missing key, Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal said.

Meanwhile, the loss of key has evoked criticism from the general public. “We feel so bad when we lose keys of our house. It is a matter of great disappointment that key of Ratna Bhandar have gone missing. The ones who are involved must be punished,” said Manoj Nayak, a devotee.