Bodhgaya, January 7 – A Tibetan security guard and a Chinese woman were detained here by police on suspicion of spying, hours before Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was due to arrive, police said Tuesday.
But the two were later released after the pair insisted they were a couple.
“A Tibetan security man of the Karmapa named Zigme Gyatso was found in mysterious circumstances with a young Chinese girl Chen Yuan Hann in a guest house,” a district official said in Bodhgaya in the eastern state of Bihar.
The man could not explain his presence with the Chinese woman and both were taken into custody, police said.
But they insisted they were a couple and the woman’s passport was found to be genuine.
Police released them, but the Indian authorities are keeping a close watch on the woman, police said.
The Dalai Lama will arrive in Bodhgaya later Tuesday for the Tibetan festival Kalchakra Puja which begins on Saturday. Four Chinese men were arrested for spying when the Dalai Lama visited Bodhgaya last year, officials said.
Huge security cover has been provided to the Nobel Laureate, who will inaugurate the 10-day festival in the Buddhist holy city.
Authorities have said they have received death threats against the Dalai Lama from Chinese militant organisations identified as Sugden and Norge, which have links with Nepal’s Maoist rebels.
The Dalai Lama is also facing protests from local Buddhists, who accuse him of being anti-Indian and have threatened acts of violence during the visit.
The Dalai Lama fled Tibet after an abortive uprising in 1959 and established the government-in-exile in India.
China, which has ruled Tibet since 1951, has been accused of trying to wipe out its Buddhist-based culture through political and religious repression and a flood of ethnic Chinese immigration.