Police shifts recovered silver to separate room

Puri: A day after recovering 522 silver bricks weighing about 18 tonne and valued at over 90 crore in the international market from Emar Mutt on the Grand Road here, police on Monday shifted the white metal slabs to a separate room in the same premises, police sources said.

"All the 522 silver bricks have been shifted to a separate room. A seizure list prepared and the room was double-locked and sealed", R K Paikray, city DSP, said.

Armed guards were deployed in the Mutt, located in front of the 12th century Sri Jagannath temple here, for safety of the property. One key of the room would remain with the Endowment Commissioner while the other key would be with the police, he said.

As the matter was with the police following theft of some bricks from the Mutt, a decision would be taken by the court, he said.

Meanwhile, inquiry was continuing to identify the persons behind missing of the materials of an empty wooden box found in an adjacent room in the Mutt.

"We suspect involvement of some Mutt staff in the missing of materials, possibly similar silver bricks, from the box", Paikray said.

The silver bricks each weighing 38-40 kg were seized yesterday after being informed by two persons who were arrested recently while selling a few stolen silver bricks.

Two persons identified as Barun Baral and Akshyay Das of Kuttam villager under Dhenkanal sadar police station, who had allegedly stolen a few bricks, were arrested Friday while trying to sell them in the market.

Baral and Das were engaged as masons by State Archaeology department during repair and renovation of the Mutt a few months ago. While working on the ceiling, a chunk of the cement plaster came off and fell on a wooden boxes below. They found that the wooden boxes, called "Sinduka" in Oriya parlance, contained silver bricks in the abandoned room.

On the basis of information given by the duo, the police had recovered the bricks with embossed seals as UAE, Japan, China and Dubai.