New York Hindu temple head gets protection order

The elderly Nayak, who is left-leg amputee, had recently been elected to the post.

New York: A US court has issued a restraining order against an Indian-origin Long Island pharmacist after he assaulted a disabled 72-year-old president of New York Kali Mandir Hindu Temple.

Suman Saha was issued a temporary order of protection from Nassau County Criminal Court following his alleged assault on Ajoy Nayak, president of the Baldwin, New York-based Hindu temple.

The elderly Nayak, who is left-leg amputee, had recently been elected to the post.

Saha was arraigned in Nassau County First District Criminal Court on Monday before Judge Douglas LeRose where the restraining order was issued.

The order prohibits Saha from having any contact with Nayak. According to court documents, Saha was accused of assaulting Nayak.

Saha has been was ordered to return on June 14 to Nassau County District Court in front of Judge Sharon Gianelli.

Nayak said Saha and some other officials of the temple attacked him on May 13, 2012 in a locked room after they found out that Nayak had discovered
inappropriate financial dealings by the temple`s previous president Kumar Sankar Mandal.

"It is shocking and disheartening that members of our religious community would not only misappropriate the funds of our temple, but then resort to
thuggery and violence in order to try to cover it up," Nayak said in a statement.

He said he had spent the early part of his tenure as president of New York Kali Mandir trying to clarify its financial position.

"This is a sad time for our community, but I urge members to come together in peace and harmony and demonstrate that these behaviours are not demonstrative of our beliefs and culture and will not be tolerated by our community," the elderly man said.