British Citizen Detained For Trespassing Into Puri’s Jagannath Temple, Assaulting Cops

Puri: Odisha Police detained a British citizen for entering the Jagannath Temple and assaulting cops stationed inside the shrine, PTI reported on Sunday.

The foreign visitor, identified as Thomas Craig Sheldon from Wandsworth in south London, purportedly mingled with hundreds of devotees and gained entry to the 12th-century shrine by partially covering his face to hide his identify, police said.

Police personnel spotted him hurling abuses at visitors and tried to escort him out, but he reportedly resisted and attacked officers on duty.

“Police tried to convince him that the temple is out of bounds for non-Hindus. But he was rude and scuffled with them. Sheldon and one of the cops sustained minor injuries in the scuffle. At least five or six police personnel had a tough time overpowering him,” said Dama Mahapatra, a servitor.

“We have detained the foreign tourist and investigation is going on,” said Prasant Kumar Sahu, City DSP, Puri.

Earlier in the day, the 30-year old British citizen was briefly detained at Sea Beach police station for reportedly creating nuisance near the seashore and Swargadwar crematorium.

On March 23, a Polish woman was detained for trespassing into the temple before being released. Earlt this month, a group of Bangladeshi nationals were apprehended while attempting to enter the temple and were subsequently released.

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