On November 9 and 10, just after the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was announced, the temple sold 90 gold lockets at Rs 30,000 each

Gold rush at Kochis Chottanikkara temple raises suspicion I-T Dept issues noticePTI
news Demonetisation Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 18:14

It was raining gold at the Chottanikkara Bhagavathy temple just a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were to be demonetized.

On November 9 and 10, 90 gold lockets were sold at Rs 30,000 per locket at the temple, Mathrubhumi reported.

On November 11, the temple officials had deposited the proceeds of the sale into a public sector bank. They were also directed by the bank officials to not accept old currency notes, the report said.

The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) initiated a preliminary probe into the incident and primarily listed persons associated with the Kochi Devaswom Board as their suspects, a report by The New Indian Express said.

“Such brisk sale is very unusual in such a short period of time. We are trying to identify the persons who bought the lockets, mostly using the cancelled currency notes. We are yet to register a case, as the preliminary inquiry is yet to be completed,” the Express report had quoted VACB officials.

On Saturday, the Income Tax Department served a notice to the temple authorities and sought details of the sale of gold lockets during the last one month, The Hindu reported.

Temple officials tried to downplay the incident. They told Deccan Herald that the I-T Department had only asked them to provide details of gold stocks at the shrine.

The Herald report also said that the Cochin Devaswom Board has initiated an internal probe following reports of the ‘gold rush’ at the temple on November 9 and 10. 

 

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