Nepal steps up security at Buddhist shrines
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 9, 2013
Authorities in Nepal said Monday that security will be increased at all major Buddhist shrines following the bomb blasts Sunday at the Mahabodhi temple in India.
A security alert has gone out in Nepal, which is home to Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha.
Kapilvastu, where the Buddha spent his early life, is also located in Nepal. The Buddha eventually attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya.
Soon after the Mahabodhi temple in Bihar’s Gaya district was targeted by terrorists, injuring two monks, additional security personnel was deployed at Lumbini, a Unesco heritage site.
“We decided to beef up security in major Buddhist pilgrimage spots like Lumbini, Bouddha and Syombhu in Kathmandu. These are preventive measures,” Nepal Police spokesperson Nawraj Silwal told IANS.
Bouddha (or Bodhnath) and Syombhu (or Swayambhunath) are stupas venerated by Buddhists.
Police have asked administrators at major Buddhist pilgrimage spots to be on the alert.
According to SSP Mingmar Lama of Lumbini Zonal Police Office, security has been kept on high alert at Lord Buddha’s birth place Lumbini, Tilaurakot Durbar, his maternal uncle’s house Devdaha and the border points in Rupandehi, Kapilvastu and Nawalparasi. “Following the incident, we have increased patrolling in those areas,” said the SSP Lama.
Kapilvastu police chief SP Rajendra Dhakal also confirmed that additional security forces had been deployed along the Nepal-India border and places deemed important by Buddhists. “As soon as we learnt about the blasts in India, we instructed Nepal Police and Armed Police Force to beef up security along the border,” said Chief District Officer Krishnachandra Ghimire.
According to APF SP Gunakhar Khanal, they have stepped up vigilance. “In the wake of the terrorist attacks, we have told all 43 units of Nepal Police and APF along the border to be on high alert,” he said.