The mahant of Emar mutt continued to stay put in his building in the complex even as 75 per cent of the structure were brought down during the demolition drive that entered third day on Friday. Mahant Rajgopal Ramanuj Das remained inside the two-storey dilapidated building where a small temple with idols of Laxmi Narayan and founder of Sri Sampraday (sect), Emar mutt, Ramanuj Acharya were worshipped.
In a telephonic conversation with mediapersons, Mahant Das expressed his unwillingness to vacate the mutt and said he was not informed about the demolition. The mahant also said he was shocked with the razing of Raghunath Library located next to the mutt.
Sub-Collector Bhabataran Sahu said the mahant was informed about the demolition operation. After he refused to receive the demolition notice, it was pasted on the mutt wall as per official procedure.
Sahu said the refusal of mahant is surprising as he had given consent to shift to a special container house that has been installed near the mutt so that he can reside there and perform his religious duties.
The 35 x 10 feet and 15 feet high container is connected with power supply and AC facilities, the Sub-Collector said.
Sahu said the mahant had given his consent at a meeting between mahants and Collector before the demolition began. Additional District Magistrate BK Das, Collector Balwant Singh and Revenue Divisional Commissioner Anil Samal had assured him on Thursday that the temple in the mutt and its rituals would not be disturbed and he agreed to vacate.
Meanwhile, the Mahant’s stand and his son’s insistence on sparing their house have added fuel to the speculation of huge treasure in the house. The recovery of 18-tonne silver ingots worth Rs 100 crore from a secret room in the mutt in 2011 adds to the speculation that huge amount of gold is treasured in the building.
Anticipating law and order situation, the mutt complex was put under police guard throughout Thursday night till resumption of work on Friday. Seven magistrates and 24 platoons of police were deployed for the operation.
While minor structures in the complex were demolished on the first two days, the four-storey building, including old library building, was brought down on the third day. Men with hand-held machines demolished the top three floors step by step and the rest was done by heavy-duty excavators.