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Status quo on Sikkim holy lake

New Delhi, Sept. 17: The Supreme Court today ruled that 'status quo' be maintained on the construction of a temple near the sacred Khachoepalri Lake in Sikkim, a holy site for Bhutia-Lepchas of the state.

The apex court accepted a public interest litigation filed by legislator Acharya Tshering Lama last month. The judgment was delivered by a bench of Justice Santosh Hegde and Justice S.B. Sinha, which put a halt on fur ther construction of the temple in the vicinity of the monastery.

The monastery is located near the Khachoedpalri Lake, located in the West district, which is held in high reverence by the Buddhists in Sikkim.

The Supreme Court ruling also comes in the wake of allegations by members of these two communities that a person called 'Kirat Baba' had 'polluted' the holy lake on July 6 by diving into the sacred waters. This went against the centuries-old tradition that requires devotees to wash their hands at a nearly stream before they approach the lake.

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