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Pontiff Leaves India After 10-Day Visit

February 10, 1986|From Reuters

BOMBAY, India — Pope John Paul II ended his controversial 10-day "pilgrimage of peace" to India today, boarding a plane for Rome after a farewell at the airport from Mother Teresa.

In a telegram to Indian President Zail Singh, the Pope expressed his gratitude for the "warmth of your hospitality and for having provided me with the opportunity to experience personally the deep religious and cultural values of your land."

John Paul's last hours in India were marred by the arrest of 35 militant Hindus who chanted "Pope John Paul, go back" as they tried to march into a park where the pontiff was addressing 200,000 people.

The demonstrators, from the militant Hindu Mahasabha, gathered outside Shivaji Park in central Bombay about an hour before the Pope arrived and defied police orders against marching on the park while the Pope was speaking.

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