Tripura Congress Thursday alleged corruption over jewellery and valuables donated by devotees to Mata Tripurasundari Temple at Udaipur in Gomati district, 55 km from Agartala, and demanded a high-level inquiry.
A Congress delegation led by Udaipur district party president Soumitra Biswas submitted a memorandum to Gomati District Magistrate Tarun Kanti Debnath and demanded an inquiry to find out the quantum of jewels and valuables that were donated by devotees, including Tripura’s Manikya monarchs, who oversaw the royal temples before the Merger Agreement with the Union of India in 1949.
“Out of seven vaults filled with jewels and valuables donated to the goddess, one vault revealed rugs, food coupons, shoes, bicycle tyres etc. Devotees donate valuables to Mata Tripurasundari. It is highly unlikely that treasury boxes will have outdated food coupons, shoes, bicycle tyres and such. We suspect a massive conspiracy was hatched to steal jewels,” Biswas told indianexpress.com.
Shortly after assuming office on March 9 last year, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb formed a trust headed by him to oversee all activities of Mata Tripurasundari Temple. The objective was to develop the shrine in the lines of Vaishnodevi Temple and attract tourists.
An exercise to evaluate all jewels and valuables in possession of the temple was undertaken in July. During the audit, the trust recorded 12.95 kg gold and 65.176 kg silver, a pearl necklace weighing 29 gm and a US dollar among assets in possession of Mata Tripurasundari Temple.
Biswas said at least one quintal of jewels and other valuables were donated to Mata Tripurasundari till date. “Only 13 kg jewels were recovered from the temple vaults. This is highly unlikely. We suspect a deep-rooted conspiracy here,” he said.
Tripurasundari Temple is one of the 51 Hindu shaktipeethas of the country and is considered one of the holiest Hindu shrines.