Nepalese police arrest dozens for smoking cannabis at Hindu festival
Police in Nepal say they have arrested dozens of people for smoking cannabis at a religious festival where holy men had received permission to indulge in the drug.
In advance of the festival of Shivratri, the day and night during which Hindus across India and Nepal hold celebrations in honour of Shiva, the god of destruction, permission had been granted for sadhus, or holy men, to smoke the drug.
But it appears that large numbers of young men, perhaps holy but certainly not sadhus, took the opportunity of the festival to partake of a little weed themselves. “We have arrested 70 people including dozens of youths who took excessive marijuana,” police spokesman Dhiraj Pratap Shah told the Agence France-Presse. “We have not arrested any sadhus.”
Every year, thousands of pilgrims from across Nepal and India travel to the celebrated Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu to mark the Shivaratri festival. With a nod to historical traditions and a belief that Shiva himself may have enjoyed the drug, authorities at the temple grant the nomadic sadhus permission to smoke cannabis. Until last year, they even provided the holy men with free supplies of the drug, until reports emerged of them selling it to ordinary pilgrims.
This year, around 5,000 police were on duty as part of a huge security operation and officer had orders to crack down on any non-holy men found smoking. “The Pashupati Area Development Trust has allowed the sadhus to use the drugs only for themselves,” added the police spokesman.
More than a thousand of the police officers on duty were armed. Bomb disposal squads of the Nepali Army, water canons, riot control vehicles, ambulances and sniffer dogs were also reportedly on duty. Health volunteers and paramedics set up tents to provide medical services to the devotees, many of whom arrive many days in advance of the festival.
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
Spain accused of 'provocation' after letting Russian submarine refuel off Gibraltar
Allonautilus scrobiculatus: World's 'rarest' creature spotted for only the third time ever
Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...
£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...