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Puri's treasure trove: Cops find 17 tonnes of silver hidden at Emar Math

Puri's treasure trove: Cops find 17 tonnes of silver hidden at Emar Math 
PURI: Thousands would have passed a dilapidated Math on their way to Puri's Jagannath temple , not sparing a glance at the 200-year-old structure that on Saturday turned out to be a Rs 85 crore treasure trove.

Cops, probing a burglary, went into the Math only to find slabs of silver weighing more than 17 tonnes, worth nearly Rs 85 crore at current prices. There were 522 silver slabs, each weighing between 35kg and 40kg. These had been stashed in four wooden treasuries in a sealed room.

Emar Math is situated right in front of the Jagannath temple. Non-Hindus, who are not allowed to enter the Jagannath temple, use the Math's rooftop to view the shrine but little else happens there.

"We came to know about the silver here after the arrest of Barun Baral, who was trying to sell a silver slab in Dhenkanal on Friday. During interrogation he told us that he had stolen it from Emar Math," said Puri SP Sanjay Kumar .

The SP said Baral worked as a labourer in the Math that is spread over four acres. "During renovation work, he stumbled upon the treasury. He might have stolen some pieces with the help of others," Kumar said. When a stone fell off during renovation, the labourers caught a glimpse of the silver.

"Baral's revelation led to the stunning recovery of stacks of silver slabs from the room that was sealed. We broke down the walls to enter the room," Kumar added.