Nepal arrests kingpin of attack on Pashupatinath priests

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Kathmndu, Sep 5 (ANI): The Nepal Government on Saturday arrested the Maoists leader who led the attacks on Indian priests and provided a personal security officer to the chief priest of the famous Pashupatinath shrine.

The Nepalese Government has also deployed an extra-armed platoon of security forces in and around the shrine.

In New Delhi, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Vishnu Prakash said: "The Nepal Government has told us that the ringleader of the attack has been arrested and policemen have been posted outside the temple. The head priest has also been given a personal security officer."

Earlier in the day, speaking to the media in Bangalore, External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna reacted strongly to the attack on two Indian priests at the famous shrine in Kathmandu, and asked the Nepal Government to ensure safety and security of the priests.

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

" The Maoist elements in that country are pressurizing the government and temple authorities against continuing the tradition," Krishna added.

Meanwhile, the Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Rakesh Sood took the matter with Nepal Home Minister Bhim Bahadur Rawal and Culture Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari and registered strong protest against the attack on Saturday.

It was reported 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. (ANI)

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