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Rs 1.800 crore worth gold, silver embezzled from Tuljabhavani

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Aug 25, 2016, 7:01 am IST
Updated : Aug 25, 2016, 7:01 am IST

The Maharashtra police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID) has informed the government that it has found that there was an alleged embezzlement of valuables, including gold and silver, worth Rs 1,8

The Tuljabhavani temple in Osmanabad.
 The Tuljabhavani temple in Osmanabad.

The Maharashtra police’s Crime Investigation Department (CID) has informed the government that it has found that there was an alleged embezzlement of valuables, including gold and silver, worth Rs 1,800 crore at Osmanabad’s Tuljabhavani temple, managed by the Tuljabhavani Temple Trust.

The embezzlement allegedly occurred over a period of 20 years, preceding 2009, said a CID source. The CID report containing the probe’s findings revealed the names of 45 trust members and a few IAS officers, who are under the scanner for their alleged role in the embezzlement, said the source. He added, “The CID will soon file an FIR against those named in the report.”

Before 2009, the donation boxes at the Sri Bhavani Devi Temple used to be auctioned. There was a lot of difference between the amount of offerings made by the devotees and the amount put up for auction. CID officials said, “We found during investigations that employees of the temple sansthan and some government officials have embezzled about 160 kg of gold, 2,000 kg of silver, other valuable items and expensive clothes amounting to Rs 1,800 crore during the 20 years till 2009. After that, we received an order in 2010 to investigate the matter and, on Tuesday, we submitted our report to the state government regarding the same issue, along with the names of the accused.”

The report has been leaked and it has been revealed that 42 temple trustees of that period, nine tehsildars, 10 contractors, 14 other temple employees and 11 IAS officers are named as accused. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Hindu Vidhidya Parishad members had filed a PIL in the Bombay high court last month, after which the court had ordered the CID to submit the report within the next 15 days.

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti member Sunil Ghanavat said, “It was revealed in 2008 that there were illegal changes carried out in the papers related to 265 acres of land owned by Tuljapur Devasthan Samiti (TDS). Two government officials were suspended in this connection.”