Gold pilferage: TDB serves notices to officials

A 21 gm gold-plated rosary with 81 beads was replaced with a new chain of 72 beads

With an independent investigation confirming a delay in reporting the pilferage of gold from the Ettumanur Mahadeva temple in Kottayam, the Travancore Devaswom Board has served notices on six of its officials, including the Thiruvabharanam commissioner, seeking explanation.

According to TDB president N.Vasu, the officials were required to furnish their explanation in two weeks. Based on their response, further course of action will be decided, he added.

Officials said those required to furnish the explanation also included a deputy commissioner, assistant commissioner, administrative officer and two former officers on duty at the temple.

The theft had come to light in July this during a stock verification led by the newly appointed head priest in the presence of TDB officials. TDB higher-ups, however, came to know about it only a month later through media reports.

Meanwhile, the board has lodged a police complaint against the former head priest of the temple, who is allegedly responsible for the pilferage.

The incident pertains to the replacement of a gold-plated rudraksha rosary with 81 beads and 21 gms of gold with a new chain of 72 beads. An independent probe by the board found that the person, who had served as the temple head priest during the three-year term that ended in June this year, was responsible for the theft.

A preliminary verification has pegged the loss to be less than seven gms of gold.

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