Nepal has assured safety of Pashupatinath priests: Rao

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 22:28

Kathmandu: Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who Tuesday wound up her two-day Nepal visit with a trip to the revered Pashupatinath temple here, said the Nepal government has reassured her protection for the two newly-appointed Indian priests there.

"The government of Nepal has assured me that they have taken all necessary measures to ensure the security and well-being of Indian priests and continuation of regular prayers at the temple," Rao told mediapersons.

"The political leaders, with whom I interacted, have conveyed their regret at the recent unfortunate incident involving the unprovoked attack on Indian priests that took place at Pashupatinath," she said.

The 5th Century shrine hit the headlines recently when its two newly-appointed Indian priests - Girish Bhatt and Raghavendra Bhatt, both of whom are from Karnataka - were assaulted by a mob, stripped and further humiliated.

Rao said that India and Nepal were bound together by religious and cultural ties and the attempt to politicise the issue was unfortunate.

The Indian government has strongly condemned the attack that came after the opposition Maoist party led the demand for the appointment of Nepali priests at Pashupatinath.


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First Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 22:28

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