30 August 2019
Puri: Demolition of Emar Mutt and Raghunandan Library continued for the second day on Friday while mystery prevailed about the secret underground chamber that came to fore yesterday.
On the other hand, the Mutt's Mahant (chief priest cum custodian) Rajgopal Ramanuj Das refused to vacate the premises and has self-exiled himself in his room since the demolition began.
Despite Puri Collector Balwant Singh's persuasion, the adamant Mahant did not budge. He has also kept vow of silence alleged locals and refused to cooperate with district administration in executing its on-going demolition drive.
A 35-foot-long and 10-feet-wide container house was also brought for his rehabilitation but he did not leave the Mutt, said sources. Police cordoned off the area and media was barred from entering the premises.
Locals have now started speculating connections between the Mahant and the deep underground chamber that was discovered during the demolition of the 900-year-old Emar Mutt on Thursday.
Sources said, this chamber was around 3-storeyed high and is linked to a tunnel which leads to an exit. While some suggested that this could be a hidden treasure room, others claimed, it was at this place, secret rituals linked to Jagannath temple were performed in ancient times. The local intelligentsia confirmed that this could have been the chamber for storing grains for consumption of the Mutt occupants.