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A Hindu organization announced Friday that its effort to place a statue on the state Capitol grounds was thwarted last week by the secretary of state's office.

Rajan Zed, the head of the Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism, had submitted a letter to Secretary of State Mark Martin on Aug. 6 asking for permission to "erect a privately funded statue of Lord Hanuman" on the Capitol grounds.

On Monday, Martin's office wrote back, saying the office had to deny the request for the Hindu god's statue as a matter of procedure.

Zed said Friday that his group will reach out to Gov. Asa Hutchinson for help in placing the monkey-faced god on the Capitol grounds.

Zed's group was among a handful of organizations, including the New York-based Satanic Temple, that announced plans in early July to get privately funded statues or monuments placed on the Capitol grounds.

Officials from the Satanic Temple said that if the Capitol was a proper venue for a privately funded monument to the Ten Commandments, other faiths and ideas should be given the same opportunity.

During this past legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill mandating that Martin's office allow the privately funded Ten Commandments monument to be allowed on the grounds.

Officials from Martin's office said Friday that the Ten Commandments monument is an exception. Any other requests for monuments or statues have to go through an application process with the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission.

Chris Powell, a spokesman for Martin, said he was unaware of any proposals from any other groups seeking to put a privately funded monument on the Capitol grounds.

Metro on 08/23/2015

Print Headline: Hindus say their god denied Capitol spot

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  • SteveHold
    August 23, 2015 at 4:17 p.m.

    Why do our elected leaders continue to gravitate towards self-inflicted political wounds? This self-inflicted conflict will end in litigation. This will not end well for the taxpayers of this state when it is all said and done.