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Priests 'purify' Gandhi memorial

Hindu priests fetched water from the Ganges to cleanse the site after it was scoured by Bush's sniffer-dogs.

india Updated: Mar 05, 2006 15:47 IST

Hindu priests, who take care of the Gandhi memorial, have conducted a purification ceremony at the shrine so as to cleanse it after it was scoured by Bush's sniffer-dogs.

The priests fetched water from the Ganges for the ceremony.

Bush had visited the memorial on Thursday during his three-day visit to India. The site, where Gandhi was cremated, is considered sacred and it is mandatory for all visitors to remove their shoes before entering the premises.

The dogs, flown in from the US, were part of the intense security for the president, but the Hindu priests believed they tainted the site.

Letting dogs into the memorial also drew sharp protests from Hindu politicians and Gandhi's great grandson Tushar Gandhi, who called the incident a "national shame."

First Published: Mar 05, 2006 13:35 IST