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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: Amid much hue and cry over parking of Rs 545 crores belonging to Lord Jagannath in crisis-hit Yes Bank, a petition was filed in the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today seeking a probe into the matter.

“Parking of the huge sum in cash-starved YES Bank has given rise to a big question over safe return of the money to the temple account,” stated rights activist Pradipta Nayak in his petition filed with the OHRC.

Terming the financial transactions as ‘unfair handling of Puri Jagannath Temple money’, the petition questioned under which circumstances the Lord's money was deposited illegally in a private bank.

In the petition, Nayak alleged that the concerned stakeholders have taken a huge kickback for keeping the deposit in the cash-starved Yes Bank in unfair means.

“With Rs 50,000 withdrawal cap, there is a big question mark over the recovery of Lord Jagannath's money in spite of assurances by State Finance Minister and other government officials,” he pointed out.

The petitioner termed the depositing of funds as a complete violation of human rights in the form of insecurity of public money and mental torture due to emotional attachment of people with Lord Jagannath.

The petitioner prayed to the Commission to recommend urgently to the chief administrator of Jagannath Temple, Economical Offence Wing of Crime Branch and Director of State Vigilance to inquire into the matter and submit a report within four weeks.

He also urged the rights body to make recommendation to government departments and all district authorities not to deposit the public money in any private Bank or financial institutions.

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