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Sheriff's Office Won't Help With Next Attempt To Remove Pandit

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FAIRFIELD, Iowa - A pandit leader that inadvertently triggered some unrest near Fairfield Tuesday will still be removed, only this time the Jefferson County Sheriff's office won't be preset.

Bill Goldstein, co-supervisor of the pandit project, said he doesn't anticipate seeking assistance from law enforcement when the pandit is removed on a second attempt to send him back to India.

On Tuesday, dozens of pandits threw rocks at a Sheriff's vehicle as the Sheriff monitored the removal of the pandit at the request of supervisors on the project. The protesters damaged the car, but the sheriff was able to escape unharmed. The pandit leader was eventually returned to the campus in a peace keeping effort.

Pandits are meditators who come from India to pray for peace in a gated campus outside of Fairfield. They come for two to three year rotations from India as part of a program that started nearly a decade ago. They are not students of the nearby Maharishi University of Management, although the university did assist with getting the program started.

It's not clear when the pandit who triggered Tuesday's unrest will be removed. Leaders say they're making an effort to meet with other pandits to get to the bottom of the issue. The pandit is being sent back to India for "disciplinary reasons."

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