HP orders probe into irregularities in Roerich Memorial Trust



Shimla: Himachal Pradesh government has ordered a probe into allegations of financial irregularities and mismanagement in the International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT), which takes care of Russian painter and philosopher Nicholas Roerich’s estate in Kullu district.

“Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal Tuesday constituted a one man committee to look into the affairs of the Roerich trust,” a government spokesperson told Himvani. He said, Principal Secretary (Language Art and Culture) Manisha Nanda would conduct the inquiry into the allegations of IRMT member Shakti Singh Chandel.

Shakti Singh Chandel shot off a communication to Ex-Officio President of the trust Prem Kumar Dhumal on Sep 28, 2010, raising serious issues ranging from financial irregularities to mismanagement in the trust that preserves Roerich’s art and knowledge. In the complaint, Chandel has pointed out that meetings of the Board of Trustees (BOT) and executive committee of the IRMT were not being convened regularly. “No meeting of the BOT has taken place since 2006 and during this financial year (2010-11) only one meeting of the executive committee was called as against the mandatory four meetings. For the past 10 years, the trust has become an arena of squabbles. I have also tried to bring many issues to the notice of IRMT vice-president Alexander M. Kadakin (Russian ambassador to India), but unfortunately there has been no response,” he wrote. He said that thorough probe is required, as, “IRMT is a symbol of the great traditional bond of friendship between Russia and India. If its affairs are not set right, it would hurt grievously the very spirit and purpose for which the trust was formed”.

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