Clueless about Muktinath's funds

MYAGDI: People living in and around Muktinath temple in Mustang district have no clue where the cash and other valuables offered by the devotees at the temple have been vanishing.

Thousands of devotees from across the country and India offer prayers at the popular shrine of Lord Shiva every year. However, there is no record of the cash and valuables offered at the temple, the locals said. "We don't know how much amount is collected and where it is being spent," they added.

According to a source, 22 nuns and chief priest of the temple are involved in embezzling the temple funds.

"I am the only person who is really concerned about the temple. Nobody can raise concern about the financial activities at the temple," Rudra Rijal, chief priest at the temple, said.

Sujan Thakali, a local, said cash offered by the devotees was being embezzled since the last many years. "The conduct of the chief priests also reflects that the temple funds are being embezzled," Thakali added. He also said the chief priest was showing no concern for the repair of the temple even though the temple is in a dilapidated condition.

"The annual income of the temple is somewhere around Rs 22 lakh. But nobody knows where the collected funds are being used," a member of the temple management committee said.