Nepal’s CIAA begins probe over missing gold report in Pashupatinath temple; devotees barred from entry

Dozens of security personnel, including Nepal Army soldiers, have been deployed at the Pashupati Temple premises while the investigation process is in progress.

June 25, 2023 10:16 pm | Updated 10:48 pm IST - Kathmandu

A view of the famous Pashupatinath Temple at Kathmandu in Nepal.

A view of the famous Pashupatinath Temple at Kathmandu in Nepal. | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Nepal's Pashupatinath Temple was shut for devotees on June 25 afternoon after the Himalayan nation's top anti-corruption body took control of the temple premises to investigate a report that 10 kgs of gold were missing from the ornament weighing 100 kgs.

Pashupatinath Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kathmandu.

The newly installed gold ornament called Jalhari was installed around the Shiva Linga inside the temple during the Maha Shivaratri festival last year.

However, the government directed the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) to begin the probe after questions were raised in Parliament following a report that 10 kilogrammes of gold were missing from the ornament.

The CIAA is the Nepal government's apex constitutional body for the control of corruption.

The Pashupati Area Development Authority claimed that it had bought 103 kilogrammes of gold to make the Jalahari but 10 kilogrammes was missing from the ornament.

Ghanashyam Khatiwada, executive director of the Pashupati Area Development Trust, told the media that the gold made Jalahari of Pashupatinath was taken by the anti-graft body to determine its quality and weight after questions were raised over the missing gold.

Dozens of security personnel, including Nepal Army soldiers, have been deployed at the Pashupati Temple premises while the investigation process is in progress.

Devotees have been barred from entering into the temple since 3.30 p.m. and sources said the temple will remain closed until midnight.

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