Rashmi Ranjan

A day after amicus curiae NK Mohanty left the ball in Odisha government’s court on reopening of Srimandir Ratna Bhandar, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra on Sunday insisted that the treasure trove of the Lords in the 12th century shrine must be opened at the earliest.

Speaking to media, the saffron party leader said, “Acting on court’s directive, the amicus curiae recently visited Puri and found irregularities in security and repair works. There has been a continuous delay in reopening of the Ratna Bhandar as officials are thinking Odisha govt is owner of the treasure house."

“Earlier, the Ratna Bhandar was opend in 1978, 1982 and 1985. It should be opened soon,” Mohapatra demanded.

During the last inspection it was found that there was over 1280 kg gold jewellery in the treasure house. If Ratna Bhandar could be opened in 1980s, what is stopping the BJD government to open it now, the BJP leader questioned.

Notably, the amicus curiae NK Mohanty, who on Saturday held a meeting at the SJTA office, said government will take a final call regarding the reopening of Ratna Bhandar of Srimandir.

According to the chief administrator, a meeting is scheduled to be held on September 27 and a decision regarding this will be taken then. The decision taken will then be forwarded to the government for approval, Mohanty had said.

The future course of the action will depend on the government’s decision, said the amicus curiae after the meeting at the SJTA office, regarding the repair work of Natamandap and Jagamohan in Srimandir.

The Orissa High Court had on August 24 ordered amicus curiae to submit an affidavit explaining the current status of Srimandir Jagamohan and Konark  Surya temple following an inquiry.