Dispute over ownership of silver

A day after police made one of the biggest hauls of ‘hidden treasure' from a religious place in Puri, another sinduka (wooden container) was discovered from the Emar Mutt. However, it was empty.

Silver worth Rs. 90 cr.

The district police recovered 522 silver slabs weighing about 18 tonnes from the Emar Mutt on Sunday. The value of the white metal at the present market price is Rs. 90 crore.

District police on Sunday shifted the retrieved silver stock to another room and will report to the court on Monday.

“Since a dispute has arisen over the ownership of the property between Mutt operators and the Endowment Department, we will send the silver bricks to the custody of the court,” said R.K. Paikray, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Puri.

Mr. Paikray said the sinduka discovered on Sunday looked similar to the other four wooden containers in which 18 tonnes of silver were found. Investigations were on to find out who “emptied” the sinduka, Mr. Paikray said.

Search for more

Meanwhile, rumours are rife in Puri about the possibility of the existence of such hidden treasures in other ancient mutts. Mr. Paikray, however, said the police could not on its own start searching the mutts.

The Endowment Department, which oversaw the functioning of mutts, would have to make a request to the police for a search if a similar situation arose, he said.