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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Bodhi sapling to be relocated

Shahroz Afridi, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, October 15, 2012
First Published: 13:43 IST(15/10/2012) | Last Updated: 13:46 IST(15/10/2012)

The Mahabodhi plant brought from Sri Lanka and planted at Sanchi by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa during inauguration of International University of Buddhist and Indic Studies will now be shifted from the university site after collector of Raisen expressed his inability to ensure security of the plant. As of now, the university site is being looked after by Raisen administration. The plant at Amkheda, 8 kms away from Sanchi, is protected by iron fencing.

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This Bodhi tree is symbolically significant as it is an offshoot of the same tree that was carried by Sanghamitra, daughter of king Ashoka, to Sri Lanka around 2,300 years ago.

“The Mahabodhi sapling planted at Sanchi has great significance for the proposed university as well as the Buddhist community. It needs to be protected well. Collector Raisen has written a letter to culture department to take the plant in its care. The department is mulling over the decision to shift the sapling to some other place till construction at the university site begins,” said Rajesh Gupta, Officer on special duty, for Sanchi University.

Confirming the news, director of culture department, Sriram Tiwari said, “It would be difficult to deploy someone from an already under-staffed culture department at Sanchi to look after the plant. The sapling might be shifted to some other place for the time being,”

“A police picket consisting of 5 cops and two kotwars is deployed at the university site round-the-clock. Besides, staff of horticulture department is taking care of the plant,” said Mohanlal Meena, collector Raisen. He said that he had written to the culture department requesting them to take possession of the land. He hasn’t received any reply yet. The Mahabodhi sapling was planted on September 21 during the inauguration of Sanchi University.

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