Kathmandu, January 29, 2018: The Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT) in co-ordination with police force is all set to declare Pashupatinath as a ‘marijuana-free zone’ for the upcoming Mahashivaratri festival.
According to PADT officials, after the declaration of Pashupati as marijuana-free zone, police will begin interrogating any suspects dealing with illegal use of marijuana in the temple.
Thousands of devotees from around Nepal as well as India visit Pashupati to offer their prayers on Mahashivaratri. Pradeep Dhakal, PADT Secretary mentioned that drug dealers sell marijuana to drug abusers disguising themselves as sadhus. He also added that even sadhus will be restricted to carry or smoke marijuana on the temple’s premises.
Anupam Shrestha, District Superintendent of Police at Metropolitan Police Circle, Gausala mentioned that even the sadhus will be arrested if they are suspected of selling marijuana to the drug abusers around the temple area.
According to the information provided by the police, Gujeshowri, Mrigasthali, Biswarup and Ram Mandir areas are a common sight for drug abusers. Two sadhus have already been charged under the Narcotic Drugs (control) Act within the last six months. In the last six months 279 persons including 18 women, have been arrested from the Pashupati area for smoking marijuana and using other drugs. Among them, 36 were charged under Narcotic Drugs (control) Act and 80 with public offense whereas 10 were handed over to drug rehabilitation centers and health care facilities. 153 youngsters were handed over to their guardians for illegally using marijuana in the temple area.