By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 22: Amid safety concerns and major lapses in security arrangements at Bodhgaya after a minor blast and recovery of two live bombs on Jan. 19, local police source cited by Indian media suggest that the target of the bombs does not appear to be the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama who is currently there on a month-long schedule.
Indian daily Indian Express quoted a police source as saying, “The Dalai Lama does not appear to have been the target as he was not scheduled to cross the routes where the two bombs were placed. But Buddhists could have been the target. There is a heavy inflow of monks during evening prayer.”
However, with probe teams still under investigation and without official statements, many say such information may just be to quell public and particularly Buddhist devotee’s concerns for the Tibetan leader.
The same source also suggested that involvement of a terror group other than IM (Indian Mujahideen) and SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India), which were allegedly involved in the 2013 Bodhgaya blasts, can not be ruled out as yet.
The octogenarian Tibetan leader remained unfazed and resumed his teachings just a day after the bombs were found. The Dalai lama gave the much sought after ‘Solitary Hero Vajrabhairava Empowerment’ to thousands who attended the spiritual event yesterday and began the the ‘Diamond Cutter Sutra’, also known as the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in 300 verses, this morning.
The recovery of two crude bombs earlier last week exposed gaping holes in the security arrangements at the main temple at Bodh Gaya considered to be the holiest site by Buddhists. The November to February window are the peak pilgrim season at Bodhgaya with upwards of 50,000 people flocking to the site to attend teachings and visit the holy sites there.
Reports emerged that one of the two bombs is a 7kg ammonium nitrate crude bomb placed near the gate no. 4 of the main temple. Sources also said that it could have been placed there with the help of local residents. Police and probe teams under investigation and are going through CCTV footage of the area.
Bihar police have reviewed the security of the Dalai Lama and posted two additional SPs and deputy SPs in Bodhgaya till February 1 along with more boots on the ground, near the main temple, the teaching ground and the residence of the Tibetan leader.