Case registered against 7 individuals in the matter of missing jewellery of Deity Shri Tuljabhavani

5 of the 7 accused dead

Dharashiv – Seven individuals were finally booked in the case of theft of ancient precious jewels of Deity Shri Tuljabhavani. A case has been registered against seven individuals including deceased assistant religious manager Ambadas Bhosle, servant Palange and an unknown official employee of the temple along with four mahants namely Mahant Hamroji Buwa Guru Chiloji Buwa, Mahant Chiloji Buwa Guru Hamroji Buwa, Mahant Wakoji Buwa Guru Tukoji Buwa and Mahant Bajaji Buwa Guru Wakoji Buwa. Interestingly, 5 of 7 accused are dead. Therefore, people are questioning the administration about the purpose of registering crimes against dead people.

1. A week after the order was given by the District Collector and the President of the Temple Committee Dr Sachin Ombase, the Tuljapur Police registered this case. An independent enquiry committee of Deputy Superintendent rank officers will be formed to investigate this serious matter.

2. Rashtriya Samaj Party MLA Mahadev Jankar had pointed out in the Legislative Council that there was a reluctance to register a crime in this matter. Deputy Speaker Dr Neelam Gorhe had directed the State Government to register a case before the end of the session, asking why the case was not registered even after giving a complaint.

3. Deity Shri Tuljabhavani’s treasury contains many precious jewels and ornaments. Several kings, dynasts, Mughal emperors, Nizams, Portuguese, Dutch etc. have offered ornaments to the Deity with great devotion. The devotees have offered 207 kg of gold and 2,500 kg of silver at the feet of the Deity in the last 14 years. The report submitted to the District Collector has revealed that the Mahants of the temple, officers and employees of the temple committee and some servants have looted the rich treasures of the Deity.

4. After this report, District Collector Dr Sachin Ombase constituted a 16-member committee under the leadership of Omerga sub-divisional officer Ganesh Pawar to verify the gold and silver jewellery and ornaments of the temple. This committee submitted a detailed report in July. Accordingly, the jewels available with the mahants and valuable ancient ornaments under the jurisdiction of servants, officers and employees were verified using the CCTV.

5. The verification revealed that many ancient, rare and valuable ornaments were missing, while some ornaments that were hundreds of years old had been replaced with new ones. According to the report, Dr Ombase had ordered the Tuljapur Police 8 days ago to register cases against the culprits.

Editorial Perspective

What is the use of registering cases against dead people ? The administration delayed taking action in this matter. This is one of the issues of Government-controlled temples.