Police in Nepal on Sunday arrested more than 80
people for smoking cannabis at a festival dedicated to the Hindu
deity Shiva whose most devout followers consume the drug as an act of
"We arrested 85 people from the Pashupatinath temple," said Uttam Subedi, a metropolitan police range officer.
"Most of them were smoking cannabis and a couple of them were arrested for pickpocketing and creating public disturbance."
Shiva devotees in Nepal smoke cannabis in a bid to please the deity and invoke his blessings during the annual Shivaratri festival.
Under Nepalese law only holy men, or sadhus, are permitted to smoke cannabis during the festival and dealing in it is illegal.
Every year hundreds of pilgrims make their way to Pashupatinath temple in the capital Kathmandu, which is dedicated to Shiva, which features cannabis-smoking Naga sadhus with their matted dreadlocks and ash-smeared bodies.
Some 4,000 sadhus from Nepal and India participated this year, authorities said.
About 5,500 security personnel were deployed at the World Heritage Site.
Most Popular Stories
- Paniagua Wins Grand Prize in Young Artists Program
- Yaris Adds French Flair for US Market
- German Intelligence Blames Ukraine Rebels for MH17
- Cable TV Not Going Away, Says Cable TV
- IBM to Pay Big to Unload Chip Division
- Sub Hunt Brings Cold War Chill Back to Baltic
- Turkey to Help Kurds Reach Fight in Kobani
- Kerry Cites Moral Need in Weapons Air Drop
- Cowboys Turn Back Clock to Glory Days
- Perez Leads Push for Obama's Job Proposals