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news details
Alleged gold embezzlement case at Katra Shrine Board remains unattended
Complainant pins hope on Supreme Court; CEO says will look into matter
8/4/2020 5:42:28 AM
Asif Iqbal Naik

Early Times Report

Jammu, Aug 3: Bizarre it may sound— but is true that the high profile complaint of gold embezzlement at pious Shri Mata Vashnio Devi shrine has remained a least priority.
According to the details available with Early Times, it was revealed through a RTI a few years ago that crores were siphoned from the shrine by projecting these as huge losses.
It is in place to mention here that around 2 crore pilgrims visit Mata Vaishno Devi shrine every year and make donations in cash, gold and silver.
The Shrine Board gets the metals processed into gold coins. The Board has tied with Mumbai based GOI enterprise which converts this metal into the gold coins.
After knowing about the fraud and misappropriation one social activist Raj Kumar from Jammu filed a complaint with the Prime Minister and President of India to get the matter probed.
While speaking to Early Times, the whistleblower claimed that the Shrine Board shows impurities in gold donated at the shrine and gets the losses waived off while the fact is that the enterprise which turns this metal into gold coins has claimed that it has not noticed any such impurity.
He alleged that the reply filed by the concerned agencies has established it’s a big fraud. “Soon after I filed the complaint I started getting threats following which I filed a writ petition in the High Court. However I was implicated in a false case and kept under unlawful custody for one and a half years in a false case,” Kumar said.
He alleged that “the things have been kept secret for hushing up a big fraud. The public money has been plundered for years together in the shape of gold wastage and gifts of gold have been shared among few hands.”
“It is difficult to believe that people donating voluntarily out of free will and religious faith donate impure gold to Mata,” Kumar said, adding that “It is just a manipulation to siphon the public funds.”
Kumar said that he has filed many applications before the various CEOs of the Shrine Board, but nothing concrete has been done by them till date.
He said that after coming out of jail, he came to know that the PIL filed by him in the J&K has been closed in default. He said that after this he approached the Supreme Court of India. He said that the Prime Minister Office forwarded the complaint to Chief Secretary J&K who further forwarded the complaint to the Home Department for inquiry. “I want to know the status of the complaint and the action taken there,” Kumar added.
“I am pinning hopes on the Supreme Court and hope that culprits involved in the gold scandal will be punished,” he said.
When contacted, Chief Executive Officer of MVDSB Romesh Kumar said that the issue is not in his knowledge and added that it might be a case not reported during his tenure. “Still I will look into the matter and can only comment after going through the details if any,” he added.
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