Mystery Chinese woman in Gaya during Dalai Lama visit tracked down: Cops
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, who arrived in Bodh Gaya on December 22, is expected to be in the district till February 1.
PATNA: A Chinese woman who entered the country in 2019 and was reported to be in Bodh Gaya during the ongoing visit of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has been located after a 24-hour long search and is being grilled, people familiar with the matter said.
She has been located and is being interrogated at the Bodh Gaya police station, said Bihar’s inspector general of police (Magadh range) MR Nayak.
The 87-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader, who arrived in Bodh Gaya on December 22, is expected to be in the district till February 1.The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in April 1959 after China brutally suppressed an uprising against its rule in Tibet, is closely tracked by Beijing which has called the globe-trotting spiritual leader a “splittist” and terrorist.
An intelligence input about the presence of the Chinese woman, identified as Song Xiaolan, in Bodh Gaya has had the Bihar police on tenterhooks in view of the presence of the Dalai Lama in Bodh Gaya for Kalchakra, a 10-day festival comprising Buddha teachings and meditations.
Late on Wednesday evening, the Gaya police issued a sketch of the woman besides sharing her passport and visa details.
“We got inputs about a Chinese woman who has been overstaying in India and is presently said to be in Bodhgaya, which we verified and launched a search. In view of the inputs, the security personnel deployed in Bodh Gaya for the security of the Dalai Lama were alerted,” said Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Harpreet Kaur on Thursday.
Another police officer, who asked not to be named, said intelligence officers were interrogating the woman to ascertain the reasons for overstaying in the country and visiting the district around the same time as the Dalai Lama.
The Chinese embassy in Delhi has been informed, the officer said.
Central police forces including Central Reserve Police Force and Sashastra Seema Bal have also been deployed at various locations in the town The Tibetan Monastery in Gaya, where Dalai Lama is staying during his religious sojourn, has been turned into a fortress with even resident Lamas being issued separate identity cards for entering the premises.
Unlike previous occasions, officials said the Dalai Lama’s movements and access to him had been severely curtailed this year in view of the threat perception. More than 100 CCTV cameras have been installed in and around the Kalchakra Maidan.
Bodh Gaya has witnessed multiple terror attacks over the past decade including the nine serial explosions that the Mahabodhi temple complex in July 2013. In January 2018, unidentified terrorists planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at three places inside the world heritage site, Bodhgaya temple complex. One of the IEDs planted by the suspected terrorists went off but security officials were able to detect the other two.