US courts act in New York Hindu temple row

New York, June 9: A US court has told a Long Island pharmacist to stay away from the elderly president of a Kali temple here after allegations of embezzlement led to an attack on the latter.

The court has issued a temporary order of protection against pharmacist Suman Saha following his alleged assault on the president of New York Kali Mandir Hindu Temple, Ajoy Nayak.

The 72-year-old Nayak is a left-leg amputee.

According to court documents, Saha was arraigned in Nassau county criminal court Monday before Judge Douglas LeRose where the temporary order of protection was issued.

The order prohibits Saha from having any contact with Nayak and requires him to return June 14 to Nassau County district court in front of Judge Sharon Gianelli.

Nayak alleged he was physically attacked May 13 in a locked room by Saha and several fellow officials of the temple.

This was allegedly done to cover up Nayak’s discovery of inappropriate financial dealings by the temple’s previous president, Kumar Sankar Mandal.

Nayak said in a statement: “I have spent the early part of my tenure as president of New York Kali Mandir trying to clarify our financial position and ensure a successful and secure resource for our Hindu community.

“It is shocking and disheartening that members of our religious community would not only misappropriate the funds of our temple, but then resort to thuggery and violence in order to try to cover it up.

“This is a sad time for our community, but I urge members to come together in peace and harmony and demonstrate that these behaviours are not demonstrative of our beliefs and culture and will not be tolerated by our community.”

IANS