“The State Archaeology Department is in the grip of mafia and the lives of many in the department, including mine, are in danger,” said Dr. R. Gopal, Director of Archaeology Department.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of the Epigraphical Photo Exhibition held to mark the 125th anniversary celebration of the Epigraphy Branch of the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage at Exhibition Ground premises yesterday.

Breaking into tears while narrating about his experiences in the department, Dr. Gopal said that he had been conducting various activities of the department with a meager budget of Rs. One crore per annum. “However, when the dept. got a bonanza of Rs. 100 crore in the 13th Finance Commission for restoration of ancient monuments and heritage structures, the politicians intervened and meddled unnecessarily with the department’s affairs,” he lamented.

He also said that an engineer, sitting at home, prepares bogus bills for works not done and swindles the State Exchequer of the tax-payer’s money. He also cited the example of a civil works engineer preparing bills for Rs. 40 crore sitting at home and said, “When we question such deeds, we get life threat by the mafia.”

Dr. Gopal’s emotional diatribe was cut short as Prof. A.V. Narasimhamurthy, former Head of Archaeology Department at University of Mysore, tried to pacify him by saying that talking of such matters was out of context at the function. Regaining his composure, Dr. Gopal then announced the institution of ‘Puratatva Rathna’ award for five persons in recognition of their contributions to archaeology.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore