Eight boxes of needles, letterhead of a textile company, four Rs. 5 currency notes, and a 1 paisa coin dated 1953 found in the chests

The buzz that started with a bang over the three mysterious iron chests ended in a whimper here on Monday as nothing significant was found in them.

Much to the disappointment of the media persons, who had been camping in front of Gariahat police station since early morning, eight boxes of rusty needles, a letterhead of a textile company named Ramkrishna Hosiery Private Limited, four Rs. 5 currency notes, and a 1 paisa coin dated 1953 were found in the chests. “The boxes were inscribed with the name of a company called Forington Canada,” police said.

Despite the officials of Gariahat police station making it clear on Sunday that the boxes would be opened after 11 a.m., reporters of both electronic and print media started swarming the place hours before the scheduled time. It was rather a comic situation at the police station when the media persons reached there even before the officer-in-charge did.

Chaos ensued the moment fire brigade personnel entered the compound with a diamond cutter that was used to open the chests. The media persons, who moments ago were chatting happily with the police, started shouting at them after being prevented by the police from filming the event of cutting the chests open. Even though the police personnel repeatedly told them that ‘filming or photographing of the procedure is prohibited under court order’, the unruly journalists paid no heed. Seeing that the situation was getting out of hand, the police were forced to cordon off a section of the sidewalk in front of the police station from where camerapersons were taking photographs.

A heated altercation broke out between a senior police officer and a photographer, who shouted ‘I will do what I want to do’.

The excitement reached its peak when the diamond cutter roared to life and started ripping through the iron walls of the chests. Now locals too joined the circus and started to shove their way into the compound through the narrow gate. With the scorching heat tempers starting to fly irritated reporters began shouting at the curious onlookers as they were obstructing their view.

As soon as one chest was cut opened, media persons rushed in to get a glimpse of its contents. The same happened when each of the three chests was opened.

However, later in the day, an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official said, “These needles were made in the 1970s. From them we will come to know how the textile industry functioned during that time. They may have some historic value.”

The iron chests presumed to be more than 300 years old were found in 2008 and after a court case over their ownership that lasted several years, the court finally ordered the government authorities to open them.

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