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Kedarnath priests worried over security of 230 kg gold at holy shrine

The gold-plated sanctum sanctorum of Kedarnath shrine

Priests at Kedarnath are worried over the security of the 230 kg of gold at the holy shrine and have written to the state administration to beef up security around the temple.

The concern has arisen as the temple has been shut for the winter months and there will be no pilgrims visiting Kedarnath until May when it reopens again. Since the shrine is located at a lonely spot there is a risk of criminal elements eyeing the gold worth hundreds of crores of rupees.

The temple was closed on October 26 just after the completion of the gold plating of the sanctum sanctorum. It was estimated that more than 230kg of gold was used to beautify the temple.

However, security arrangements have not been improved and only 11 personnel of the Uttarakhand police have been deployed for security duty at the temple on a “temporary” basis, according to some priests.

In the past there has been an instance of a gold ‘kalash’ and some other items being stolen from the temple, Kedarnath head priest Bhimashankar Ling was cited By the Times of India as saying.

Ajendra Ajay Chief of Badri Kedar Temple Committee (BKTC), has written to Uttarakhand Chief secretary SS Sandhu to increase the  security.

Rudraprayag SP Ayush Agarwal said, “A police team, along with some BKTC staff, are stationed at Kedarnath.” He said that there was no plan to withdraw the policemen from the site.