Shillong’s Raj Bhavan has a secret. A heavy iron chest lies buried under the wooden floorboards of the mansion constructed in 1898, and it has resisted attempts over the past six decades to open it. The chest bears a copper plaque engraved with the name of its manufacturer: Hobbs, Hart & Co Ltd, Patentees and Manufacturers, London. The current governor, Ranjit Shekhar Mooshahary, even got a team of Army engineers to open it, but to no avail. He says it may contain important documents, cash and jewellery, as it is located right next to a large room that has been the Governor’s private office since British days. Oldtimers at the Raj Bhavan, however, believe it contains evil spirits and, if unlocked, would bring bad fortune.
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