Geologists, archaeologists and policemen are waiting for June 16, when three iron chests kept at Gariahat Police Station for the past six years will be opened.
Believed to be 300-400 years old, each weighing about 1,000 kg, the chests will be opened following a court order, in the presence of representatives of the Geological Survey of India, Archaeological Survey of India and Kolkata Police.
The chests were discovered in 2008 when a woman in her 60s sold her plot at 178, Rash Behari Avenue, in south Kolkata to a shoe company, and digging began to construct a showroom. While the shoe company claimed the chests as its own, the former owner said these belonged to her forefathers and so she was the rightful claimant.
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Though the city of Kolkata was officially set up in 1690, before that it had prosperous villages under the zamindari of Sabarna Roy Choudhury.
The chests were taken to the Garihat Police Station, even as both the woman and the shoe company went to court. In December 2013, the Alipore court ordered that the chests be opened.
“I am excited. The chests may have anything. I am sending some experts there,” said Ashok Patel, ASI superintending archaeologist.
The Fire Department has been told to open the chests. “It’s a court order… We have asked the police to arrange for crowd management as a considerable number of people may turn up,” said D P Tarenia, DG, Fire Services.