HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: People flew into a rage and shouted slogans against a technical team under member-secretary of the Pashupati Area Development Trust, Shushil Nahata, this morning after the latter took out some bricks at the cremation site no 2 in the Pashupatinath area to ‘assess the damage to the site for necessary repair work’.
The slogan-shouting people accused Nahata of hurting their feelings and disrespecting their faith by breaking the cremation site, while Nahata said the people took the team’s act wrongly. After an hourlong protest, officials managed to pacify the locals, PADT treasurer Narottam Baidhya said.
Authorities had opened the site no 2, designated for royal courtiers’ earlier, after the declaration of the republic in 2008. Members of the general public seek to cremate their dead at this site, waiting for hours with the belief that the soul of the deceased directly departs to heaven from there. The site no 1 is reserved for the royal family. “The site is in need of repair with its slopes damaged and copper plates on the brim exposed. People get injured while circumambulating the bodies before lighting the funeral pyre,” said Nahata, adding, “Only last week, a man stumbled upon copper plates and had his leg injured.”
In the past four years, the PADT has already repaired all other cremation sites. Nahta said, “While the victims of accidents at the cremation site urge the PADT to repair the site, others say the site should be left as it is.” Nahata blamed those, who have been obstructing repair work at the site, for politicking on funeral pyres. People roaming in the heritage site further joined in the protest and onlookers made the situation more tense, said a PADT official.
Nahata said the repair work at the site will take some days to weeks depending on the damage. Earlier in the day, PADT officials cleaned up the Bagmati.