Priest accuses Char Dham admin body of gold scam worth Rs 125 crore
In a video, the priest charged the administrative committee of misappropriating gold from the sanctum sanctorum of the Kedarnath temple
In a video reported by Navbharat Times on Thursday, Santosh Trivedi, the vice-president of Char Dham Tirth Purohit Samaj (a body of Char Dham pilgrimage priests), alleged that the Badrinath Kedarnath Temple Committee (BKTC) had misappropriated gold worth Rs 125 crore.
The BKTC is the administrative body in charge of the Kedarnath temple.
Trivedi talked of finding the gold plate used in the Kedarnath sanctum sanctorum had been 'transformed' into brass. He alleged that the administration was involved in a scam. He further said that if this scam is not investigated, he will engage in "vigorous protest".
In response, BKTC executive officer R.C. Tiwari condemned the video in an official notification. The BKTC in its statement denied Trivedi’s allegations and called the video “misleading", saying it could “hurt the feelings of the pilgrims”. It said that the total cost of the gold plate used in the temple was only around 14 crore.
In September 2022, a Maharashtra-based businessman had donated around 230 kg of gold to the temple, saying it was his “long-time wish” to see the walls plated with gold, as per an Indian Express report.
The report stated that the BKTC and the government of Uttarakhand had decided to implement the gold plating exercise per the patron's wishes. At the time, Trivedi had formally criticised the decision, stating that a temple is a spiritual place where religious icons should be the focus and it was not the space for 'materialism'.