Security up at temple

 
“The government will bring the perpetrators under the force of law,” Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said, after he deputed his cabinet colleague Minendra Rijal to accompany Indian ambassador Rakesh Sood to visit the temple.

Speaking at a function in the capital, Nepal blamed the Maoists for fomenting trouble at the fifth century shrine.

Security was also tightened around the temple premises with two platoons of security personnel being deployed at the site. Police also arrested about three dozen people suspected of involvement in the incident.

Meanwhile, the two priests appointed by Nepal, entered the main Pashuptinath temple on Saturday morning and initiated the regular worship or ‘Nitya Puja’ as per the tradition.

Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood, accompanied by Rijal, also chair of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) that looks after the temple affairs, and PADT member secretary Shushil Nahata also visited the temple.

Rijal and Sood, who were at the temple for about 30 minutes to take stock of the situation, assured the chief priest and other Indian pujaris of full security and support.

Rijal expressed regret over Friday’s incident during which the Maoists dragged the two new priests out of the temple premises and paraded them half naked before beating them up with iron rods and sticks.

He said that those opposing the government’s decision are trying to disrupt the age-old friendly ties existing between Nepal and India. The area remained tense as Maoists continued their demonstration around the temple premises.

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