Maoists unlock Pashupatinath temple trust office in Nepal

     Maoists re-opened the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) office of centuries-old Pashupatinath Temple here on Tuesday. It was locked about two weeks ago after the two Indian priests were beaten up. Maoists said the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) office was re-opened for an upcoming festival. "We have opened the lock for the Chhath festival, taking the welfare of ordinary people and devotees into consideration. We will bring a new programme of protests after the end of the festivals," said Rishi Prasd Sharma, coordinator, struggle committee. Two Indian priests in the temple were beaten up by Maoists on September 4 demanding important religious jobs be given to Nepalis. For centuries, the priests of the Pashupatinath Temple were picked by shrine authorities from among high-caste Hindus in India, with the consent of the king of Nepal. Since Nepal abolished the monarchy and became a republic last year, the government has taken over the task.

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