Padmanabhaswamy temple panel to decide Sep 2 on unopened vault

August 26th, 2011 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 26 (IANS) The Supreme Court-appointed committee Friday decided to wait till Sep 2 to take a call on whether to go ahead with taking inventory of the rare jewels found at the famed Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple estimated at Rs.one lakh crore.

Speaking to IANS, one of the committee members who took part in the meeting here said they had decided to wait till Sep 2.

“On that day, a petition is coming before the Supreme Court filed by Rama Varma, a member of the erstwhile Travancore royal family, who has pointed out that most of the devotees are against opening of Vault B as this would hurt their sentiments and beliefs. So once we hear what the response to the petition is, we would decide the next step,” said the committee member, who did not wish to be identified.

The Travancore royal family oversees the running of this temple through an executive committee.

Rama Varma last week filed the petition stating that by opening of five other kallaras (vaults), particularly kallara A, the threat to the security of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple has increased. By opening kallara B, the threat would increase further.

In all, there are six vaults in the temple of which five have been opened based on a petition filed by a former IPS official T.P. Sunderarajan. Early last month, the apex court-appointed committee stumbled upon the treasure from vault A which was lying unopened for more than 150 years.

But Sunderarajan passed away on July 17.

Following this, the apex court again intervened and, early this month, an apex court bench of Justice R.V. Raveendran and Justice A.K. Patnaik appointed two different committees — one consisting of five experts headed by Director General of National Museum C.V. Ananda Bose to videograph and photograph the articles found in vault A and another three-member committee to be headed by Justice M.N. Krishnan to oversee operations of the experts committee.

But with passions running high, the royal family appointed a high level group of priests to conduct an astrological ritual - ‘devaprasanam’ - to find out the “will of the deity” in the light of the recent happenings.

On Aug 11, the committee of priests concluded that the family members of those who open Vault B would die and also ruled out videography of the treasure.

Incidentally, the meeting that took place Friday was the first after the devaprasanam and, with passions running high, the committee decided to wait to hear what the apex court has to say on the petition of Rama Varma.

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