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The man behind the temple find

The worth of former IPS officer TP Sunderarajan's effort is growing in multiple crores virtually day by day. With one secret vault of the Sri Padmananbha Swamy temple still to be opened, Sunderarajan, 70, has a lot to look forward to.

india Updated: Jul 06, 2011 23:05 IST
Ramesh Babu

The worth of former IPS officer TP Sunderarajan's effort is growing in multiple crores virtually day by day. With one secret vault of the Sri Padmananbha Swamy temple still to be opened, Sunderarajan, 70, has a lot to look forward to.

The rough-and-ready guess is that the wealth found so far is worth about R1 lakh crore. And the credit for this discovery goes chiefly to Sunderarajan.

How? He was the first to move court seeking transparency and accountability in running the temple. Later the Kerala high court ordered the state government to take over the temple from the Travancore royal family, which runs it as a trust.

However, the family moved the Supreme Court and there was a stay on the high court order. The Supreme Court then formed a panel comprising two retired Kerala high court judges, royal representatives and Sunderarajan, and asked them to prepare an inventory of the temple's riches.

"I am an ordinary soul. I can't divulge details now. Please leave me (alone)" — this is the way he fobs off people. He doesn't have a mobile but his landline phone keeps him engaged.

He was, however, pained when someone misconstrued his move as against the royals. "I am doing what God willed," he said.

Though some people are unhappy with him for dragging the issue to court, he is unperturbed. "Why should I fear?" he asked.