Joint House Panel expresses displeasure over contradictory statements

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Apr 9: A Joint House Committee of Legislature today expressed its displeasure over contradictory statements by officials regarding the whereabouts of keys to the Toshakhana (treasure house) here.
The committee met under the chairmanship of MLC Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo here, observing that in the earlier meeting it was informed about the misplacement of keys of the Toshakhana while now they were informed that the keys were not lost but were lying in the custody of the court.
The committee was of the view that action under law be taken against the officers who misinformed the committee about the facts of the keys of Toshakhana in its previous meeting.
The treasure of Dogra rulers hog the limelight in December 2006 when mysterious fire broke out in the Toshakhana inside the historic Mubarak Mandi complex, the royal residence of the maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir from the Dogra dynasty till 1925.
Following the blaze, the valuable articles made up of gold and silver were shifted from the Toshkhana to a strongroom in the Civil Secretariat, Jammu. Only the armory, which the Dogra rulers were using for their as well as security of the citizens of this erstwhile princely state, was left behind in the Toshakhana.
Secretary, Law Department, A M Bhat apprised the committee that the case regarding obtaining of keys would be pursued before the appropriate authorities to enable the committee to visit the preserved items in Toshakhana.
It was decided in the meeting that the committee will meet on May 14 again to take stock of the preserved items in Toshakhana.
The committee also expressed dissatisfaction over the absence of some senior officers of concerned departments in the meeting and directed them to attend the committee meetings regularly in future.


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