ISKCON devotees penalised for entering Orissa temple

By Indo Asian News Service

Kendrapada (Orissa), July 27 (IANS) Seven devotees of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) from the Czech Republic were asked to pay a fine for entering a 300-year temple here that does not allow foreigners and non-Hindus.

On Wednesday, the ISKCON devotees were singing bhajans inside the sanctum sanctorum of the famous Baladevjew temple when temple priests saw them.

According to rules, the foreigners were told to pay Rs.700, said temple administrator P.K. Hota, adding that there was a notice outside the complex about those who could not enter.

‘I don’t have any personal opinion on this. We followed what is in the rules,’ Hota told IANS.

But the ISKCON members refused to pay the penalty, resulting in the normal daily rituals of the deity being delayed for near about six hours, said a temple priest.

One of the foreigners said: ‘We are Hindus and we have every right to enter the temple.’

Normalcy was restored only after some other devotees donated the money and purification rituals were performed.

In a similar incident last year, an American woman Pamela K. Fleig, who said she had converted from Christianity to Hinduism after marrying Uttar Pradesh resident Anil Kumar Yadav, was denied entry into the 11th century Lingaraj temple in Bhubaneswar.

Copyright Indo-Asian News Service


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