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Hindu gods summoned as witnesses to Indian court: report

NEW DELHI -- Two popular Hindu gods have been summoned to a court in India as witnesses in a property dispute, the Press Trust of India reported Friday.

A judge in the eastern state of Jharkhand issued notices to the revered Ram, the most worshipped incarnation of one of the deities in the Hindu trinity, and to the monkey god Hanuman.

Court officers went to the temple at the heart of the property dispute to deliver the summons but found no one willing to accept the orders on behalf of the gods, the report said.

The temple, dedicated to Ram and Hanuman, was initially given by the province's king in the 1920s to the family of Manmohan Pathak, who has said he is the temple's rightful owner, the report said.

But local worshipper Puran Chandra Halder successfully petitioned for the temple to be declared public property in 1987.

A spate of appeals followed, with Halder adding the gods' names to his petition.

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