THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of complaints of gold and silver offerings made to Sabarimala temple allegedly going missing from the temple strongroom, Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president A Padmakumar on Monday said the temple gold is intact. The 40 kg of gold and 100 kg of silver, over which the allegations were made, is in the temple strongroom near Aranmula as per the audit department records.
“An audit of 10, 413 items were done at the Aranmula strongroom of Sabarimala. Of these, 5,270 items were earlier audited by TDB. As per the executive officer’s report, there are no missing gold or silver items. The records are clear and all the items have been accounted for,” he said. An audit team led by senior auditor Pratap Kumar inspected the ‘mahasar’ records following a High Court directive. After receiving offerings, proper records and receipts have to be made before they are shifted to the strongroom. Some mismatch was alleged in this regard.
Strongroom documents were subjected to inspection by the team. TDB president said auditors ruled out the need to open the strongroom.“When a senior officer retires, he should brief his successor on what the job entails as well as other details. However, this has not happened in recent times.
When an officer retired six years ago, he did not hand over the duty and the report assessing the wealth inside the strongroom. This led to the board withholding retirement benefits of the officer concerned. Also, in cases where the lapses are intentional, we will consider filing criminal cases,” he said.
Padmakumar said the baseless allegations regarding Sabarimala are being levelled to tarnish its name. The inspection is a routine affair after every ‘Mandalam’ season. Meanwhile, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran in a statement assailed those who had levelled the allegations, terming them the outcome of media’s imagination.
Sabarimala: UDF vows legislation
T’Puram: Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala on Monday said the UDF will bring in legislation against the entry of women, belonging to the 10-50 age group, at Sabarimala if the Congress-led alliance is voted to power. Chennithala told reporters here that a special Assembly session will be convened for the purpose. The legislation can be passed by including it in the concurrent list as a state subject. According to him, several issues like ‘Jallikettu’ in Tamil Nadu and reservation, legislation was brought in the state Assembly by including them in the concurrent list.
He said believers were hurt by the government’s actions on the Sabarimala issue and this amply reflected in the elections. The believers voted for UDF candidates as they were aware it is UDF which backed them. He added the Congress and the UDF position has always been that the government of the day should stand by believers.