Puri: Andrei Glagolev (53), a tourist from Russia who was found begging in front of Singha Dwara (entrance point) of Lord Jagannath temple in Odisha’s Puri last month, was today facilitated by the district administration to go to the Russian Embassy in New Delhi.
The administration also provided some financial assistance to Glagolev, who boarded Purushottam Express at Puri Railway Station and left for New Delhi.
After the incident of the tourist begging near the temple came to fore, he was rescued and rehabilitated by the administration.
Glagolev had hesitated to go back to his country and wanted to stay in India with refugee status. For this, he had applied for refugee status at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in New Delhi. He has appointment with the UNHCR on January 8.
According to reports, Andrei hails from Bavly area in Russia. He claimed that he was forced to leave the country in 2015.
When asked about his unwillingness to return to his own country, Andrei said that his family drove him out of the home after he started worshipping Lord Shiva in Russia.
“I am a worshipper of Lord Shiva. I was opposed by some groups for my inclination towards Hinduism. They threatened me of dire consequences if I continue to worship Lord Shiva. I left my country due to threat to my life and reached India on a tourist VISA,” he said.
Before visiting Puri, Andrei was staying in Mathura for the past two years on an extended VISA. After he arrived in Puri, he could not afford a hotel room. He spent his nights at Railway station. He sat with the beggars near the Jagannath temple and sang Bhajans.