Puri: In a significant development, the missing key of the inner chamber (Bhitar Bhandar) of the Sri Mandir’s Ratna Bhandar (treasury) was found today.
The duplicate key of the inner chamber of the Ratna Bhandar was found in a sealed envelope kept in a locker of the District Record Room, informed Puri Collector Arvind Agarwal.
Two teams led by Puri Additional District Magistrate (ADM) were engaged for the last five days to trace out the missing key, sources said.
“On April 2, 2018 Sri Mandir Chief Administrator through a letter had requested us to provide the keys of the Bhitar Ratna Bhandar kept in the district treasury. Subsequent to that we had written a letter to the District Treasury Officer to find out and provide the keys. Basing on the Treasury Officer’s report received on April 4, 2018 we informed the temple administration on the same day that Bhitar Bhandar keys were not there in the district treasury. Later on 24.5.2018 Sri Mandir’s Chief Administrator again wrote a letter to us requesting to conduct a thorough search in the District Collectorate’s different departments like Nazir Khana, Record Room etc. to trace out the keys. After receipt of that letter we had formed two teams which scanned through various records of different departments. As part of that process one of the teams has found a sealed envelope today which has some keys inside it. ‘Duplicate keys of Bhitar Bhandar’ has been superscribed on the envelope. On the basis of this development we will submit a report to the Sri Mandir today,” Agarwal told reporters.
A major controversy had erupted over the missing Ratna Bhandar keys with a massive public outrage forcing the State government to order a judicial inquiry into the circumstances leading to the keys going missing.