On Wednesday morning, KTVO received a statement from Bill Goldstein the representative of the sponsoring organization, Global Country of World Peace, regarding the incident that occured in Vedic City, Iowa last week.Below is that statement:Press Statement: Jefferson County, Iowa Pandit Incident, March 11, 2014
Early on the morning of March 11, a Vedic Pandit who was one of the Pandit administrationâ??s leaders and part of the group on the Iowa Vedic Pandit campus in Jefferson County, Iowa operated since 2007, was being escorted off the premises with the assistance of the Jefferson County Sheriffâ??s office. He was being removed to be returned to India due to administrative improprieties. A group of about 50 of this Panditâ??s friends were apparently upset at this decision and followed the vehicle that was transporting him down a public street, throwing rocks at the Sheriffâ??s vehicle that was called to assist. The Sheriff called for back-up which involved several law-enforcement agencies. The Pandits soon returned to the campus. No one was injured and the peace was quickly restored.
No similar incidents or violence has occurred in the seven year history of this program where over 2,600 Pandits have come to Iowa to participate in this unprecedented cultural exchange approved by the governmental authorities which involves the Pandits engaging full time in daily group meditation, Vedic performances and Vedic study. Pandits normally come for two to three year tours and return to India, and often, after a leave to their homes in India, return to the Iowa facility for an additional tour. The Pandits are aged between 20 and 40 years old and have all gone through special education and training over 10-15 years in these traditional practices with an affiliated organization in India before coming to Iowa for this program.
A very harmonious meeting was held with the entire Pandit group immediately after the incident to discuss what transpired. The Pandit who was escorted off the campus returned to participate in this meeting and provide further information. On Saturday he was taken to Oâ??Hare airport with five other Pandits. An internal review of the situation is continuing with the aim to avoid any such repeat incidents. It is expected that additional Pandits involved in this incident will be requested to return to India this week.