Krishna asks Nepal to ensure safety of Indian priests

     Minister of External Affairs (MEA) SM Krishna on Saturday reacted strongly to the attack on two Indian priests of the famous Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu, and asked Nepal Government to ensure safety and security of the priests. Speaking to reporters here, Krishna said "The Government of India is in touch with the Nepal Government and asked it to ensure security to the priests of Pashupatinath Temple." Krishna said that the authorities of the Pashupatinath Area Development Board informed him that, the Board has also put security cover in and around the temple premises and also provided security to the priests. 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. Meanwhile, in Kathmandu, taking a serious view of the incident, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood took the matter with Nepal Home Minister Bhim Bahadur Rawal and Culture Minister Sarat Singh Bhandari on Saturday. The Nepal Ministers have assured Sood that steps will be taken to ensure safety of the priests. Earlier, 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.

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