‘Treasure found in cellars is temple asset’
Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led UDF
Government on Tuesday said the huge wealth found from the cellars
of Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple here was the asset of the
shrine and could not be termed a `treasure trove`.
The statement, by Devaswom Minister V S Sivakumar in the
Assembly, came in the wake of some quarters arguing that the
assets would come under the definition of `trove` and the
state should take over it under the Kerala Treasure Trove Act.
"You repeatedly describe it as `nidhi` (treasure trove).
It is the wealth of the temple," Sivakumar replied to a
question by former home minister and CPI(M) leader Kodiyeri
He said foolproof security had been provided to the
temple with personnel drawn from police, Rapid Action Force
and State Commando Force. The government would bear all costs
for the safety of the invaluable wealth in the cellars, he
said in reply to a question from Palode Ravi (Congress).
A total of 53 security personnel have been positioned
inside the temple and another 74 outside the shrine. The
entire security was under control of ADGP Venugoplan K Nair,
the Minister said.
Referring to reports on the value of assets found in the
temple, Sivakumar said the temple was now the richest one in
India. He also said that flow of devotees had increased
significantly following the discovery of the valuables.
The invaluable articles found during an inventory
included rare jewels, stone-studded crowns, heaps of gold and
silver coins, idols and gold, silver and brass platters and
lamps, whose value is estimated at nearly Rs one lakh crore.
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