Buckling under pressure, the Maoists have opened the locks of the office of the trust that manages Nepal’s famous Pashupatinath Temple, two weeks after they padlocked it protesting against the appointment of Indian priests in the Hindu shrine.

The Maoist backed Struggle Committee that has padlocked the office to protest against the appointment of Indian priests, themselves unlocked the office unconditionally yesterday, said Sushil Nahata, chief of the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), that manages the temple.

“As we started collecting signatures from 300 plus staff of the PADT for opening the locks and most of them agreed to open, the Maoists’ who were launching protests against the appointment of Indian priests, themselves opened the locks,” Mr. Nahata said.

India’s Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao visited the temple on Tuesday and acquired information about the latest situation in the temple area. Nepal government had assured safety and wellbeing of the Indian priests after India expressed concern over the incident in which Indian two new priests appointed from Karnataka were assaulted.

Now the flow of tourists as well as the devotees from Nepal and India, has become almost normal, he said. The PADT had to suffer daily Rs. 300,000 loss for the past two weeks due to the closure of the Tourist Counter at the Pashupati Temple complex. Daily more than 600 tourists visit the area and each tourist is charged with Rs. 500.

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