Before the general elections in 2021, Nepal’s former prime minister KP Oli—a “self-declared atheist”—did something that was seen as populist. Oli presented 104 kilograms of gold to the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu. It was believed to be an effort to placate Nepal’s Hindu population. With the gold, a “Jalahari,” or adornment for God, was created.
Concerns that out of 104 kilograms, roughly 7 kg were composed of silver or copper alloys led the Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Authority (CIAA), Nepal’s anti-corruption authority, to uproot the Jalahari on Sunday to check for impurities. According to Indian Express, the Jalahari is now being examined for contaminants.
After receiving a complaint, the CIAA started investigating the situation.
Last month, Oli told Nepal’s parliament that it was not his responsibility as prime minister to determine if the gold was authentic or of poor quality. The current prime minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, or “Prachanda,” had agreed with Oli.
However, the CIAA became aware of the claims and launched an inquiry as a result of the public outrage over the alleged wrongdoing. Jalahari has now been brought into custody by the CIAA. With representatives from the Pashupatinath Area Development Trust (PADT) present, the CIAA captured the Jalahari on Sunday.
The Jalahari was made from 103 kilos of gold, according to the Pashupati Area Development Trust, but 10 kilograms were missing.
After concerns about the missing gold were raised, Ghanashyam Khatiwada, executive director of the Pashupati Area Development Trust, informed the media that the anti-graft authority had removed the gold created Jalahari of Pashupatinath to assess its quality and weight.