Missing Ratna Bhandar key: Probe panel rues non-submission of affidavits

Bhubaneswar/Puri: The Justice Raghubir Das inquiry commission, probing the circumstances under which the keys of Ratna Bhandar -the treasure trove of Lord Jagannath temple -went missing, held its first meeting today and rued non-submission of affidavits even after almost one month of its notification for submission of the same.

The one-man commission had invited information, grievances and as well as suggestions from individuals, organisations and others in the form of affidavits by July 25.

However, the Commission today said that it has so far received four affidavits which even don’t have anything crucial related to the disappearance of the 12th century treasury key.

Meanwhile, the Commission today directed the Srimandir administration, Puri district administration and the State government to submit their affidavits at the earliest.

“The submitted affidavits lack info relating to the Ratna Bhandar key. Seven-day additional time has been sought for submission of the affidavits,” said Justice Raghubir Das.

“We hope the Commission will bring out the truth behind the disappearance of key. The investigation shouldn’t linger as it will lead to fabrication of facts and evidences,” said senior servitor, Damodar Padhani.

It is worth mentioning that the whereabouts of the original key of the Ratna Bhandar were unknown till the district administration claimed that it recovered a set of duplicate keys inside an envelope from the district record room triggering suspicion.

Later, following widespread public outcry, the State government constituted the commission to probe the incident and submit its report within three months.