Indian PM donates Nepal temple 2500 Kgs sandal wood

August 13, 2014 by  
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Modi’s puja at a temple in NepalNew Delhi, August 05, 2014: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s puja at a temple in Nepal has sparked a row that led to an adjournment in the Lok Sabha Tuesday.

Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay, who raised the issue, said the PM should have also wished people on Eid last week.

“The Prime Minister offered Puja at a temple in Nepal. We appreciate that. He must also communicate ‘Eid Mubarak,” Bandyopadhyay said to loud protests by BJP lawmakers, NDTV reported.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu responded, “We believe in sarva dharma sambhava (all religions are equal)… PM had greeted the nation on Eid also.”

The PM prayed at the famous Pashupatinath temple near Kathmandu on Monday during his two-day trip to Nepal. He sanctioned 250 million rupees for a ‘dharamshala’ at the Hindu landmark and also offered 2,500 kg of sandalwood at for the temple.


Raids on five locations in Keral’s state capital city

In one of the biggest seizures of recent times, over 400 kg of sandalwood was seized in raids by the Forest Department from the capital city on Monday.

Simultaneous raids were conducted on five locations. The seized sandalwood, mostly in the form of idols, is estimated at Rs.7 crore.

One person has been arrested, while a hunt is on for three others who fled the spot.

T. Uma, Divisional Forest Officer, Thiruvananthapuram, who led the raids, said an anonymous letter had tipped off the department on artisans engaged in the illegal manufacture of sandalwood idols, primarily in the Eenchakkal and Muttathara areas. Forest officials kept the area under surveillance for nearly a month before Monday’s raids, which lasted for four hours from 10.30 a.m.

Over 20 idols, 10 of them ranging from 4 feet to 6 feet in size, all of them in various stages of completion, were seized. Sandalwood billets of various sizes were also recovered from the five locations, mostly residences that were covertly used as workshops.

Officials said the sandalwood was suspected to have been smuggled in from Tamil Nadu via Aryankavu and other routes on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border, mostly on private inter-State bus services. The finished products were ferried in the same manner, predominantly to Kumta in Karnataka, which was believed to be the hub of the trade.

The idol traders were suspected to have international links, the officials said. Investigation so far had revealed that some of the idols were custom-made, taking several months in the making, they said

– ndtv

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