A Sadhu smoking marijuana in the evening on the eve of Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu on Sunday. Photo: Bijay Gajmer/Republica
KATHMANDU, March 4: The Metropolitan Police Range Office (MPRO), Kathmandu, has decided to enforce the blanket ban on the consumption of marijuana in the Pashupatinath temple area on the occasion of Mahashivaratri.
According to the chief of the MPRO, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Basant Lama, the police have decided to totally prohibit the consumption and distribution of marijuana on the day.
“We have already mobilized our personnel in plain clothes in order to nab the people who are found to be using such narcotics,” he said, “If found doing such act, the culprits will be booked accordingly.” He added that even the sadhus who visit the temple on the occasion will be prohibited from consuming marijuana on Monday. More than 6,000 sadhus have already reached Pashupatinath by Sunday.
However, the police will let the sadhus consume cannabis if they are doing so in their ashram. “We will not bust into their ashrams,” SSP Lama said, “We are providing the sadhus this liberty.”
6,000 security personnel and 5,000 volunteers to secure area and manage crowd
With the number of pilgrims all set to rocket in the Pashupatinath temple area on the occasion of the Hindu festival of Mahashivaratri on Monday, the concerned authorities have joined hands in order to secure the area and manage the crowd.
According to the Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), more than 6,000 security personnel including Nepal Police personnel, Traffic Police personnel, Armed Police Force personnel and Nepal Army personnel are set to be mobilized to secure the temple area and manage the crowd. In addition, about 5,000 volunteers will be mobilized to manage the crowd on the day.
The MPRO, Kathmandu informed Republica that it is going to mobilize 4,310 police personnel in the temple area on Monday. According to SSP Lama, there will be a single command post for the security personnel this year, unlike previous years, where the separate security agencies had separate command posts. He added that 36 CCTV cameras have been installed in the temple area in order to secure the area. He lamented that the monkeys in the temple area have been causing problems by disturbing the cameras.