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India condemns attack on priests by Maoists in Nepal

September 06, 2009 15:06 IST

India on Sunday condemned the attack on its two priests by Maoists in Nepal, saying the 'unprovoked and criminal act' goes against the grain of civilizational ties of friendship.

External Affairs Ministry said the matter has been taken up with the Nepalese government and the developments surrounding Saturday's development would be closely monitored.

"We strongly believe that this unprovoked and criminal act of violence goes against the grain of the civilizational ties of friendship that have existed since time immemorial between the peoples of Nepal and India," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said, referring to the incident in which two priests, hailing from Karnataka, were beaten up by dozens of Maoists who stormed the famous Pashupatinath temple.

In Bangalore, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said India is in touch with the Government of Nepal as well as the Pashupatinath Area Development Trust.

"They have enhanced the security around the temple and they have provided enough security to the priests where they stay and where they operate," Krishna said.

Acknowledging that there is Maoist pressure on Pashupatinath temple authorities not to allow Indian priests, he noted that Indian priests perform religious ceremonies in Nepal on the basis of "certain traditions and conventions".

In this context, he noted that Nepalese priests also do the same in Kashi temple.

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