External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Saturday said India had taken up with Nepal the attack on two Indian priests by Maoists at the Pashupathinath temple in Kathmandu.

Two newly appointed priests at the temple hailing from Karnataka were allegedly beaten up on Friday by a group of 10 to 12 Maoists who were reportedly angry over continuing the practice of appointing only Indian priests in the temple.

The Minister said: “We are aware of the attack and are in touch with the Nepal government. We are also in touch with the Pashupathinath Temple Area Development Trust. They have enhanced security around the temple and have also provided enough security to priests in the area where they stay and work.”

Mr. Krishna noted that it was a tradition in that temple to allow Indian priests to perform poojas. Similar tradition existed in Kashi where priests from Nepal perform poojas.

Girish Bhatta and Raghavendra Bhatta were performing religious rituals when they were attacked by the Maoists armed with rods and sticks.

“Positive development”

On the attacks on Indian students in Australia, Mr. Krishna said no incidents of attack had been reported ever since he discussed the issue with the Australian authorities recently.

“I must say this is a positive development.” The Minister commended the efforts of the Australian Prime Minister and Governors of New South Wales and Victoria for keeping their promise of taking care of the security of Indian students.

More In: National | News