Foreign currency in Srimandir’s Hundi: Devotees want transparency in counting methods

 

Puri: After foreign currencies were recovered from ‘Hundis’ or the donation box inside the Sanctum Sanctorum of Puri Srimandir, devotees are now demanding for more transparent methods for counting of cash received as donations.

While amount deposited in the ‘Hundi’ is counted everyday at Srimandir’s branch office, the counting of donations from other boxes and gift boxes is done once in a month.  Hence, the devotees are demanding that information about such collections should also be made public.

“The amount collected from six hundis inside Srimandir is made public but we should also be informed about how the counting process is done and who all are present during the entire process,” a devotee said.

According to Srimandir administration, counting of cash and other valuables received as donations from devotees is done under CCTV camera surveillance to maintain transparency during the process.

The decision to count money collected from the Hundi under CCTV camera surveillance was taken in view of several complaints reported regarding alleged theft of cash during counting.

A senior servitor, Binayak Das Mohapatra, said that the foreign currencies found could have been put inside the ‘Hundi’ by some NRI devotees as the entry of foreign nationals is prohibited inside the temple.

“Foreign currency recovered from Hundis is nothing new. There have been several instances in the past which had raised suspicion on counting process. But CCTV cameras were installed inside Srimandir, everything has now become transparent,” Mohapatra said.

Information officer Sudeep Chatterjee has said that as entry of foreigners is prohibited inside the Srimandir, it is suspected that foreign currencies could have been donated by NRI (Non-resident Indians) devotees.

Chatterjee said, “It is a well-known fact that foreigners are not allowed inside Srimandir. So it is evident that the foreign currencies are being donated by NRIs. The counting process of the donations received from devotees is completely transparent.”