SC asks Centre to look into disappearance of Guwahati temple treasure
The Supreme Court asked the government on Wednesday to look into a retired army officer’s plea to hold an inquiry into the alleged disappearance of unaccountable cash to the tune of Rs 300 crore, 300 kg gold and some other articles from a temple in Guwahati.
Manoj Kumar Kaushal, who was a part of military intelligence, said the wealth was allegedly stolen by some locals in 2014 and the police have refused to inquire into the incident.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur asked additional solicitor general Maninder Singh to look into Kaushal’s petition though it did not issue a formal notice for a response. The law officer promised the court to revert on May 6.
According to Kaushal, the unaccounted money, gold and two AK 47 rifles were stashed in a cellar in the Kali Temple in Guwahati’s Rani Tea Garden.
Kaushal’s lawyer told the bench that the petitioner received information about the wealth from one of his informers who worked with him when he was posted with the intelligence unit in Assam. .
The money was hidden by the president of Tea Garden Association in Assam, who allegedly collected money from owners of tea gardens on behalf of banned militant outfit United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa). Kaushal said the president and his wife were murdered under mysterious circumstances in 2012.
Kaushal informed the Indian Army and as it was to recover the treasure some locals of the area stole it.
The officer said he approached officials in Guwahati with his complaint against the robbery but there was no action. He also wrote letters to the Prime Minister’s Office and Union home ministry.
In October 2014, Kaushal received a letter from Anurag Singh Thakur, a member of Parliament from Guwahati, informing him that the home minister has assured a probe.
However, he has not heard or received any communication about an inquiry panel or officer.