Security tightened in Bodh Gaya

  • Ruchir Kumar, Hindustan Times, Patna
  • Updated: Dec 01, 2013 01:57 IST

Unwilling to take any chances in the aftermath of the serial bomb blasts in Bodh Gaya on July 7, the authorities are set to turn this Buddhist pilgrimage town into a fortress for the ensuing prayer season.

A slew of prayer programmes are lined up in the south-central Bihar town between December and February, beginning with the 10-day Tripitaka chanting ceremony from December 2.

With 1500-2000 delegates from 10 countries expected to participate, the district administration is leaving no stone unturned to ensure top-notch security in the town.

Five people, including two Buddhist monks, were injured by the July 7 blasts, several of which occurred at the Mahabodhi temple, among the holiest of all Buddhist shrines.

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The district administration is taking the Tripitaka chanting ceremony as a ‘tester’ to the real ‘big draw’ — the 15-day Kaygu Monlan ceremony, expected to attract 20,000 international delegates, including the Karmapa. The peak carnival time will round off with Bodh Mahotsav in February.

The administration has chalked out a three-layer security arrangement. Two companies of the Bihar military police maintain a 24x7 vigil at the Mahabodhi shrine and the boundary wall of the temple campus was being raised.

“Four door-frame metal detectors have been put in place and all pilgrims are being frisked”, Gaya district magistrate and chairman of the Bodh Gaya temple management committee Balamurugan D told HT.

SSP Nishant Kumar Tiwary said: “Intimation about any foreigner checking into any hotel or monastery has to be sent to the police. We have also advised them to inform us about any unattended baggage.”

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