Puri: The Singhadwara police today detained four foreign nationals, including two women, for allegedly making a drone camera fly over the Sri Jagannath Temple in Odisha’s Puri.
The four, all Russians, have been identified as Maxim Verkhoturov, Yulia Shvaleeva, Dima Zlobin and Elena Solodehuk.
They were operating the drone camera from Radha Ballav Mutt near the temple, reports said. The police seized the high definition camera and a memory card.
“Preliminary investigation suggests the four are Russian nationals and devotees of ISKCON. They have been in Puri since December 7,” said police officer Gokul Chandra Das.
“According to their version, they had come here for ‘parikrama’ of the holy temple. They used the drone to chalk out the system for the other devotees who would come in future.”
The shrine and its periphery areas have been declared a ‘no fly zone’ by the government.
It may be recalled here that a quadcopter had hovered over the temple in 2014 and managed to capture aerial videos and photos of the shrine.
The videos and photos were later uploaded on YouTube and Facebook and did rounds on social media.
Following the incident, the Puri district administration was asked to ensure 24×7 patrolling at four towers around the temple.