Though the panel went into the temple in the afternoon for a preliminary examination of the five opened cellars, the comprehensive scientific assessment of the wealth will begin only in the coming days, it is learnt.
The National Museum Institute vice chancellor, Mr C.V. Ananda Bose, who heads the expert panel, told mediapersons that the meeting had discussed the modalities of conducting the assessment. However, he refused to divulge more.
Though the SC had suggested that the wealth in the cellars be videographed, the panel has deferred the decision on the matter because of objections from devotees. Likewise, it has also not taken a decision on opening the secret cellar B in the context of the belief that it might invite the deity’s wrath.
Apart from Mr Bose, Prof. M.V. Nair, head of the department of conservation of the National Museum Institute, the temple executive officer, Mr V.K. Harikumar, the Archeological Survey of India representative Mr B.V Raja, and Mr Vikas Sharma of the Reserve Bank of India are the members of the panel.
The SC has asked the panel to assess the wealth scientifically by separating the artifacts and jewellery into articles that have historical and archeological value, those that are used for rituals and those that do not belong to either category.
Earlier, a panel of observers deputed by the SC had examined five of the six cellars in the temple and had found immense wealth in them.