TN priest gets co­bra home for par­ents' pooja, ar­rested

The Free Press Journal - - NATION -

CHEN­NAI: A tem­ple priest has been ar­rested in Cud­dalore dis­trict in north Tamil Nadu, about 189 kms from Chen­nai, for bring­ing home two co­bra snakes for per­form­ing a pooja on the oc­ca­sion of his par­ents' ' Sathab­hishekam' (80th mar­riage - when the hus­band com­pletes 80 years of age). The priest Sun­dare­san hired a snake charmer Palani to get the two snakes in sep­a­rate bas­kets at his house. Looked on by rel­a­tives and the el­derly cou­ple, he per­formed a 'Sarpa Pooja' chant­ing hymns with one co­bra on the floor rais­ing its hood through­out the rit­ual. Sev­eral guests at the func­tion video-graphed the un­usual pooja fo­cussing on the co­bra. To­wards the end of the rit­ual, the snake charmer is seen open­ing a sec­ond basked to show an­other snake. The in­ci­dent hap­pened a week ago. How­ever, over the past two days the 'Sarpa Pooja' was widely cir­cu­lated on mo­bile mes­sag­ing plat­forms and so­cial me­dia web­sites. It was also put up on YouTube prompt­ing the For­est Depart­ment to act.–OUR COR­RE­SPON­DENT

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