Puri:19/11/21; In a major development, an RTI query revealed that the keys of the Bhitara Ratna Bhandara (inner treasure chamber) of Puri Shree Jagannath Temple are missing since 1970.
The information was obtained from the district treasury authority through an RTI application filed by one Dilip Kumar Baral.
Baral, a resident of Kamakantia village under Balanga police limits of Puri district had sought information through his application filed on September 9, 2021, under RTI Act 2005 on the status of the original and duplicate keys of Ratna Bhandara.
Responding to the application, the district collectorate has supplied the information along with some documents.
In a letter dated April 4, 2018, the district office, Puri, confidential section, wrote to Chief Administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration, informing that, “After thorough search made by the District Treasury Authority, Puri from the records available with them it is ascertained that no such key of Ratna Bhandar of Lord Shree Jagannath Temple, Puri is deposited in the District Treasury since 1970 as reported by the District Treasury Officer.”
The missing keys of Shree Jagannath Temple’s Ratna Bhandar had triggered a series of controversies in the past with Opposition parties mounting attack on the State Government.
On June 4, 2018, the Odisha government had announced setting up of a Judicial Commission to probe the missing keys of Ratna Bhandar.