There is no duplicate key of Ratna Bhandar: Srimandir’s former deputy administrator

Bhubaneswar: At a time when Ratna Bhandar key fiasco continues to rattle the state, former deputy administrator of Puri Srimandir Ravindra Mishra on Friday made startling revelation that there is no ‘duplicate key’ of Ratna Bhandar.

Mishra, who was present when the Ratna Bhandar was last opened in 1985, categorically stated that the inner chamber of Puri temple doesn’t have any duplicate key.

“There was no duplicate key. We had opened the chamber in 1985 for some repair work and later it was locked and sealed. The key should have been in the treasury office. I do not understand, how it went to the record room,” Mishra said.

He also revealed that then additional district collector Madan Mohan Nanda  was part of the team as representative of the district magistrate that had opened the chamber and he subsequently took the key along with him after the Ratna Bhandar was sealed.

On the other hand, senior BJD leader Damodar Rout today raised questions over the authenticity of the ‘so called’ duplicate key of the Ratna Bhandar.

“Duplicate key can be made only if the original one exists. If the original key is already missing, from where did the duplicate key come,” said Rout adding that there was no mention of any such envelope of duplicate key when the Ratna Bhandar was last opened.

Former law minister and senior BJP leader Biswabhusan Harichandan attacked the government alleging that the government is trying to hide something from the devotees of Lord Jagannath.

“Ratna Bhandar keys are never kept in record room and there can be no duplicate keys of the chamber as per the rule.  Mysterious and confusing updates are being revealed every day. The government is trying to hide something,” said Harichandan.

“To bring out the truth, Odisha government has announced a judicial inquiry into the controversy. If the commission finds any violation of rules, the culprits will not be spared,” said BJD spokesperson Amar Prasad Satapathy.

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