Ready to face probe on Ratna Bhandar key fiasco: Puri Collector

Puri: After drawing criticism in the wake of growing resentment over the missing keys of the inner Ratna Bhandar and sudden recovery of duplicate keys yesterday, Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal on Thursday stated that he is  ready to face any probe as everything has been recorded on pen and paper.

Agarwal’s clarification came soon after political parties including BJP turned the heat and targetted him a day after the former claimed that duplicate keys of Ratna Bhandar were found from a sealed envelope inside the district record room.

Major political parties also trained their guns on Odisha government as it is now being questioned how the Puri Srimandir Ratna Bhandar key can be recovered from the record room as it should have ideally been kept at the treasury.

The question whether there was any duplicate key of the Ratna Bhandar and if the original key is actually lost is now haunting thousands of devotees across the State.

Puri Collector yesterday had claimed that one of the teams found a sealed envelope superscribed with “duplicate keys of Ratna Bhandar.”

“I am open for any probe as everything has been recorded on pen and paper,” said Agarwal.

Clearing his stance, Agarwal further stated that earlier SJTA in a letter issued on April 2 had asked the administration to collect the Ratna Bhandar key from district treasury and handover to them.

Later, on April 4 we received a letter from district treasury officer categorically stating that that the key was not deposited in the treasury. The matter was subsequently brought to the notice of SJTA and managing committee, Agarwal added.

Senior BJP leader, Bijoy Mohapatra today termed the entire controversy surrounding the key of Srimandir Ratna Bhandar as the scam of the decade. He also blamed CM Naveen Patnaik, third floor and Puri Collector for the incident.

The safety of the gold and other valuables inside the inner chamber of Srimandir’s Ratna Bhandar has now come under scanner owing to the mystery surrounding its key.

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