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American tourist detained in Hindus-only temple

US tourist arrested in India for entering Jagannath temple

Dec 28, 2010

Orissa Police detained a foreign tourist from California on Tuesday, after she entered the Jagannath temple here, where non-Hindus are not allowed entry.

The foreign lady, K T Leonad, later apologized for the trouble she caused.

"We didn't know that there would be such a problem. I just wanted to see the temple. I am really sorry for all the trouble I caused," said Leonad.

Leonad's friend Gaurav Sarangi, who accompanied her to the temple, said that they have visited a number of Hindu temples in Southern India, but they were not aware of the rules and regulations of the Puri Temple.

"We don't know that foreigners are not allowed inside the temple. Had I known it, I would not have gone to the temple. In fact, we have gone to the Samaleswari temple in Sambalpur, so we thought that we could go to the other temples," said Sarangi.

"We absolutely don't have any intention to hurt the sentiments of the people. If we had such thinking in our mind she could have hide her hand in globes. But we went as ordinary visitors and no body stopped us, so how could we know?" he added.

The police officials, however, ruled out that there was a security lapse.

"This is not security fail. There is no secret. The temple was crowded, so sometimes, it is not possible to see each and every visitor. We will be more careful henceforth," said M M Senapati, a police official.

US tourist arrested in India for entering Jagannath temple
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Source: ANI

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