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HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

NIA alerts Himachal on terror strikes on Buddhists

Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times  Shimla, July 23, 2013
First Published: 00:23 IST(23/7/2013) | Last Updated: 00:26 IST(23/7/2013)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has alerted the Himachal Pradesh police about possible terrorist strikes on Buddhist population and monasteries across the state by Islamic militant group Indian Mujahideen.

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The alert follows the busting of an Indian Mujahideen module at Hubli in Karnataka recently. The module was busted on specific inputs that the NIA had gathered after the serial bomb blasts in Gaya last month.

On Monday evening, the NIA sent a communiqué to the state police, cautioning them about the possible terror strike on Buddhist monasteries in Himachal Pradesh. Plans to strike the monasteries was revealed by Obedu Rehman, an operative of the Indian Mujahideen in Hubli. 

After the NIA's alert, the crime investigation department (CID) of the state police sent an alert to all district police chiefs and directed them to step up vigil in Buddhist-populated areas of their respective areas. CID additional director general of police Sita Ram Mardi confirmed this.

Nearly 30,000 Tibetan Buddhists live in 12 settlements across the state. There are nearly 250 Buddhist monasteries in India that are administered by the department of religion at the Dharamsala-based Tibetan government in exile. Of them, 170 are situated in the state.

The main monastery, Tsughlakakhang temple, is located outside the Dalai Lama's mansion in Dharamsala. The Gyoto Tantric monastery is situated 7km from Dharamsala and is the abode of the 17th Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje, who heads the powerful Kagyu Karma sect. 

The state CID has also sent a communiqué to the home department seeking a total revamp of the security of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. It has asked the home department to install explosive detectors at his palace. This is the second time in a month that the Himachal Pradesh government has sounded an alert for the Buddhist-inhabited area. The first alert came after the serial blasts at the Mahabodhi temple in Gaya earlier this month.


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