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VHP demands probe into impure gold offerings at Vaishnodevi

Friday, 31 January 2014 - 4:31pm IST | Agency: PTI

VHP today demanded a judicial probe into reported huge offerings of impure gold and silver at Vaishnodevi temple and asked the Shrine Board to ensure that the offerings are cleaned as soon as they are received. "A detailed inquiry should be conducted by a sitting Judge of High Court. Cleansing of offered gold and silver should take place immediately after the offerings are presented at the cave shrine to ensure transparency," Prant Sanrakshak, VHP, Ramakant Dubey told reporters here today.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad has taken a strong note of news reports that out of 193.5 kg of gold, 43 kg of gold, besides 5,781 kg of silver offered at the Mata Vaishnodevi cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir's Reasi district were found impure during cleansing process, he said. "It is very shocking that the Shrine Board remained silent for five years and it is only after the information through media that the picture of impure and duplicate gold and silver has come before the public," Dubey said. He asked the Shrine Board to make it clear why they did not cleanse it through transparent process immediately after the offerings are made.

The Shrine Board should also make it clear why there is no provision to clean gold and silver at the shrine premises, he said, adding that the offerings are sent outside the state for cleansing, which raises apprehensions that they may be inter-changed with fakes. Nearly 22% of 193 kgs of gold offerings and 70% of 8,163 kgs of silver offerings by devotees at Vaishnodevi shrine during last five years have been found to be "impure", according to the shrine board. "78% of 193.5 kg of yellow metal and 30 per cent of 8,163 kgs of white metal offered by devotees at cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi during last five years is pure gold and silver respectively," Chief Executive officer (CEO), Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board (SMVDSB), Mandeep Bhandari had said yesterday.

The official had said the offerings are divided into yellow and white metal categories as their purity is unknown.

While the yellow metal is sent to Indian Government Mint, Mumbai, the white metal is sent to Minerals Trading Corporation of India Ltd, Delhi for refining, assaying and fabrication, he had said. The Vaishno Devi shrine is visited by over one crore devotees every year.


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