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After Pashupatinath, it's target Bhagavad Gita in Nepal

After Pashupatinath, it's target Bhagavad Gita in Nepal

Over 100 copies of the book have been confiscated in eastern Nepal.

Kathmandu: Close on the heels of a power tussle over Nepal's Pashupatinath shrine revered by Hindus worldwide, the Hindu holy book Bhagavad Gita has come under attack in the former Hindu kingdom.

An ethnic organisation in eastern Nepal has fined two Nepalis for bringing in copies of the Gita, which contains the essence of Hindu philosophy. Over 100 copies of the book were confiscated.

Ram Krishna Bhattarai and Barad Raj Koirala, members of a Hindu organisation in Birtamod on the India-Nepal border, were stopped on the road while returning from India's Benaras city, where they had gone to buy copies of the Gita and other books.

The men were held captive for over four hours on Tuesday by a group of people who said they belonged to the Limbu community that is demanding a separate state for itself in Nepal.

The Limbus are an ethnic community of Mongoloid origin who can also be found in Bhutan, and India's Sikkim state as well as in Darjeeling and Kalimpong towns in India's West Bengal state.

The Limbus follow the Kiranti religion, which predates Hinduism and is based on ancestor worship.

"We were taken to their office in the same Maruti van in which we were travelling. The books were then confiscated," Bhattarai said at a press conference called by the two men to register their protest.

The two men were also "fined" Nepali Rs 3,500. The abductors gave them a receipt for the money issued in the name of the Federal Limbuwan State Council.

The Limbus are demanding an autonomous state, Limbuwan, and have called a series of protests and closures in eastern Nepal to pressure the government into conceding their demand.
first published:January 23, 2009, 17:36 IST