LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas secretary of state’s office has denied a Hindu group’s request to place a statue of the monkey god Lord Hanuman on the grounds of the Capitol.

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas secretary of state’s office has denied a Hindu group’s request to place a statue of the monkey god Lord Hanuman on the grounds of the Capitol.


In a letter dated Monday, Chief Deputy Secretary of State Kelly Boyd told the Universal Society of Hinduism that the Arkansas State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission, not the secretary of state, is responsible for approving monuments on the Capitol grounds.


In a statement Friday, the Hindu group said it was "now thinking of sending the Lord Hanuman statue on Capitol grounds request to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson."


The Universal Society of Hinduism noted that earlier this year Hutchinson signed into law a bill calling for the placement of a Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds, to be paid for with private funds. The group said the monument it is proposing also would be built with private funds.


"Arkansas had now substantial number of Hindu residents and students who would love to see a statue of Lord Hanuman, who was greatly revered and worshipped and known for incredible strength and was perfect grammarian," the group said.


Boyd said in the letter to the group that the Ten Commandments monument is mandated by state law.


"If it is your intention to continue your request, my recommendation is you seek legislative approval for establishment of this monument," Boyd wrote.