India Raps Assault on Indian Priests in Nepal

Reacting sharply to the assault on two Indian priests of the famous Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, Minister of External Affairs SM Krishna has asked Nepal Government to ensure safety and security of the priests.

“The Government of India is in touch with the Nepal Government and asked it to ensure security to the priests of Pashupatinath Temple,” said Krishna speaking to reporters in Bangalore.

The minister also said that the authorities of the Pashupatinath Area Development Board informed him of having put security cover in and around the temple premises and provided security to the priests also.

Krishna also said, “India shares historical bond with Nepal, in Kashi the priest from Nepal perform the poojas and in Pashupatinath it is the Indian priests. It is a tradition being followed from centuries.”

“The Maoist elements in that country are pressurizing the Nepalese Government and temple authorities against the continuing the tradition,” he added.

In the meantime, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood took the matter with Nepal Home Minister Bhim Bahadur Rawal and Culture Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari.

The Nepal Ministers have assured Sood that steps will be taken to ensure safety of the priests.

Earlier in the day, reports said that, two priests – Girish Bhatt and Raghavendra Bhatt belonging to the Karnataka – were severely thrashed and their clothes and sacred thread cut by dozens of Maoists on Thursday in Kathmandu. The priests were badly injured in the attack.

The police and temple authorities with the help of the locals rescued the priests from the attackers, sources said.

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