Centre tells states to tighten security at Buddhist shrines

Bodh Gaya, July 8: Hours after the multiple blasts at Mahabodhi temple complex in Bihar, the Centre on Sunday directed all states to ensure fool-proof security at Buddhist shrines and Tibetan settlements in the wake of the continuing violence between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in Myanmar.

In an advisory to all states with special emphasis on cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune, the Home Ministry said adequate security must be provided to Buddhist shrines, Buddhist places of worships and Tibetian settlements.

Citing recent intelligence inputs, the Ministry said radical terrorist groups were planning to target Buddhist installations, including Bodh Gaya, which was rocked by serial blasts, injuring two monks.

This is perhaps the first time that the Centre has issued an advisory about possible violence in the wake of the clashes in Myanmar.

The Home Ministry advisory asked the states to gear up intelligence and security mechanism and personnel strength at police stations under whose jurisdiction there is a sizeable Buddhist population or Buddhist shrines are located.

According to the United Nations, nearly 250 people have been killed in Myanmar in religious violence over the past year and about 150,000 people have been displaced.

Meanwhile, officials sources said a security review meeting held in Bodh Gaya on July 2 between the monastry and the police had suggested several security measures and deployment of additional forces as security in the premises was found to be not adequate.

Dalai Lama's office security beefed up

Meanwhile the security of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's official palace and nearby Tsuglagkhang temple in Dharamshala was beefed up, hours after the blasts rocked Bodh Gaya town.

The security was tightened after a review by Department of Security of Central Tibetan administration. "Security of the Dalai Lama's private office here has been stepped up and an advisory has been issued to His Holiness' personal security officials," Ngodup Dorjee, department of security secretary(CTA) said.

"The Tibetan spiritual leader has been provided Z-plus security by the Indian government and we have only beefed up the security of his official palace and Tsuglagkhang temple (close to the palace)," he said.

A meeting of Central Tibetan Administration would be held on Monday to review security arrangements of Tibetan monasteries and temples located across India.

"Additional security force has been deployed at the Dalai Lama's palace and the Gyuto Tantric Monastic University, where Karmapa resides, after the Bodh Gaya blasts," Balbir Thakur, Superintendent of Police, Kangra said.

"Police surveillance has been strengthened in and around McLeodganj and police is in constant touch with the central intelligence agencies," he added.

Thakur said one of the two entry gates of Tsuglagkhang temple has been closed and extra force has been deployed there and carrying of electronic items, including camera and mobile has been prohibited in the temple complex, he said.

Both the Dalai Lama and Karmappa are regular visitors to Bodh Gaya. The Lama visited Bodh Gaya twice in the past three years for teachings and religious functions, his office said.

"His Holiness participated in the 'Kalachakra' (Wheel of Time) ceremony and prayed for world peace at Bodh Gaya from January 1 to 10, 2012, and his earlier visit to Bodh Gaya was from January 4 to 10, 2010," an official said.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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