South Asia

Buddhists demand beefed up security for Mahabodhi complex

Buddhist monks gather outside the United Nations office in Bangkok, Thailand Wednesday, July 10 , 2013 to demand peace after a series of blasts at some of Buddhism's holiest sites in eastern India on last Sunday. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

Buddhist monks gather outside the United Nations office in Bangkok, Thailand Wednesday, July 10 , 2013 to demand peace after a series of blasts at some of Buddhism's holiest sites in eastern India on last Sunday. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)   | Photo Credit: Sakchai Lalit

Hundreds of Buddhist monks gathered outside the UN headquarters in Bangkok and Indian embassy to demand increased security at the recently bombed Mahabodi shrine in India.

More than 400 Buddhist monks from across South and South-East Asia marched to the UN and then the Indian embassy to protest Sunday’s bombing of the Mahabodi temple that injured at least two monks.

The Mahabodi complex in Bihar state is enshrined as the site where Gautama Buddha achieved enlightment.

“The Mahabodi is like the heart of Buddhists all over the world, so the bombing was a shock,” said Pornchai Pinyapong, head of the World Youth Buddhist Association that organized Wednesday’s protest.

“We want the Indian government to protect the Mahabodi shrine more seriously and restore the damaged sections,” he said.

Indian police on Monday detained one suspect in connection with bombings but have yet to press charges.

“There were 16 CCTVs at the shrine but only one was working,” Mr. Pornchai said, as an example of what he said were inadequate security measures at the sacred site.

The Sunday attack was the first such on a Buddhist religious centre in India.

Mahabodhi is a Unesco World Heritage Site, visited by thousands of pilgrims and tourists from across the world every year.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 12:28:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/buddhists-demand-beefed-up-security-for-mahabodhi-complex/article4901149.ece

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