Police dig out 47 silver ingots from Emar Mutt
Puri: As many as 47 silver ingots were recovered from Emar Mutt in the presence of police, magistrate, endowment inspectors and members of the Trust body on Saturday. The silver ingots were recovered on the basis of information provided by suspended Mahanta Rajgopal Ramanuja Das after digging the floor of two rooms of the Mutt. Some valuable silver and bronze items were also recovered from the Mutt on Friday. They included a silver tree, 12 swords and silver ornaments of the deities.
The Trust body, which took possession of the Emar Mutt as per the direction of the Commissioner of Endowment, recovered the silver ingots and other valuables from the Mutt assisted by police and magistrate on the second day on Saturday.
Sources said each silver ingot recovered on Saturday weighed between 32 kg and 35 kg. All these ingots would be shifted to police reserve line armoury strong room after weighing and sealing. After completion of inventory, it would be compared with the silver ingots recovered in 2010. As many as 522 silver ingots were recovered from the Mutt in 2010.
Rajgopal’s lawyer Biswajit Senapati said all these 47 ingots were in the inventory made by Commissioner of Endowments in 2010. Since Mutt has no treasury chest, it was buried in two rooms of the Mutt.
The Endowment Commissioner had suspended Mahanta Rajgopal Ramanuja Das from the Mutt after he was arrested in 2011 along with others in connection with stealing of silver ingots from Emar Mutt. Later, Rajgopal was released on bail. The Commissioner of Endowment stripped Rajgopal of all the powers as Mahanta and formed a Trust to look after the affairs of the Mutt.
Rajgopal had challenged his suspension and removal from hereditary trustee in the Orissa High Court on the ground that the State Government had not approved it. The case is still pending.
Senapati decried the way the administration entered the Mutt while the case is pending in the High Court. Police did not allow him to meet his client, he alleged.
In 2011, Dhenkanal police had nabbed two masons with silver ingots and trailed the link to Emar Mutt from where they stole the ingots while undertaking repair works. Police swung into action and recovered 522 silver ingots from the secret room weighing over 18 tonnes worth Rs 100 crore. These are now kept in the police armoury strong room in the reserve police line under tight security.