PATNA, India, January 7 – Police in eastern India said on Tuesday they had stepped up security as the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, arrived for a Buddhist festival expected to draw about 80,000 devotees.
They said visitors from around the world were due to take part in the eight-day Kalchakra prayers from Sunday in Bodh Gaya town, where Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment.
The Dalai Lama will conduct Buddhist rituals during the prayers in which the Karmapa Lama, head of Buddhism’s Karma Kagyu sect and the third-most important Buddhist leader, will also participate.
Gaya district police chief Ravindran Shankaran said 4,000 policemen would deployed for the festival.
“Additional forces have been brought to Gaya to ensure the security of his holiness Dalai Lama and the Karmapa,” he said.
Shankaran denied local media reports a Chinese woman had been arrested in Gaya on charges of spying, saying police and intelligence officers questioned a Taiwanese woman as a “precautionary step” after she was seen with a bodyguard of the Karmapa Lama.
The Dalai Lama lives in exile in the northern Indian hilltown of Dharamsala after fleeing Tibet in 1959 following a failed uprising against Chinese rule.