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Pashupati temple losing Rs 190,000 daily in tourist revenue

world Updated: Sep 12, 2009 20:00 IST

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The locking up of the offices Pashupatinath temple managing committee by Maoist activists has caused a daily loss of Rs 1,90,000 (NRs 3,00,000) in tourist revenue to the body for the last 12 days.

The Maoists, agitating against the appointment of Indian priests at the temple, have padlocked the offices, including three tourist counters at the Pashupatinath temple.

The activists had earlier this month stormed the Pashupatinath Area Development Trust building and locked its offices. The protesters also assaulted the Indian priests.

While the Maoists withdrew their aggressive protests to allow regular worshipping at the holy Hindu shrine, they have not yet unlocked the main office building and the tourist counters, said a PADT member.

He said the temple is therefore suffering daily 3,00,000 Nepalese rupees.

As many as 600 foreigners, excluding Indians, visit the Pashupatinath temple on an average daily and they have to pay Rs 500 as entrance fee. However, Indian pilgrims are allowed free entrance to the temple.

Meanwhile, PADT's member secretary Shushil Nahata accused the Maoists of attacking and vandalising his personal office on the outskirts of Kathmandu last evening.

"Four Maoist cadres came and they thrashed the staff at my personal office... They even abused and threatened me before leaving the place," Nahata told a press conference.