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Last updated: February 1, 2003

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Heavy police deployment made for Kalchakra

The Times of India Thursday, January 09, 2003
By ABDUL QADIR GAYA -

Massive police deployment has been made for the forthcoming Kalchakra pooja and to ensure the safety of both the Dalai Lama and Karmapa, the two high risk Buddhist spiritual leaders now in Bodh Gaya for the performance of the complex rituals for the attainment of enlightenment of the participants of the mega prayers, the third to be held near the site of Buddha's enlightenment.

One SP rank officer has been exclusively deployed for coordinating the security network created for the occasion.

Though the pooja formally begins on the January 12, Dalai Lama and Karmapa arrival has put the policemen on the alert.

20 mounted cops have also been deployed for security.

Though the details of the police deployment pattern are not disclosed for obvious reasons, according to sources in the police department, the services of more than six hundred police personnel of different ranks ranging from constable to SP have been requisitioned for the event.

This is in addition to the permanent police strength in the Bodh Gaya police station.

According to the Gaya SP Raveendran Sankaran almost fool proof security mechanism has been devised.

Besides the SP rank officer deputed for security and maintenance of order during the Kalchakra, seven deputy superintendents of police have been deputed in Bodh Gaya.

The number of junior police officers including sub- inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors is 125.

Another 200 armed policemen have been deputed.

This is in addition to the 300 lathi wielding policemen.

50 lady constables have also been deputed in Bodh Gaya specially for the period of the Kalchakra prayers.

A total of 15 mobile police parties have been constituted for round the clock patrolling of the area.

Static police deployment has been made at the strategic and vulnerable points including the Mahabodhi Temple, Maitreya project guest house, Tibetan monastery, Mahayana guest house and the prayer venue.

Altogether 21 door frame metal detectors have been installed at different points.

Five fire tenders have been ordered to be kept in stand by position for immediate use in case of need.

A control room will monitor the entire exercise.

What has added to the woes of the security agencies is the decision to house the Dalai Lama in the Maitreya Project guest house, 2-kms to the west of the prayer venue.

During his past Bodh Gaya visits, the Dalai Lama has been staying in the second floor exclusive suite in the Tibetan monastery at a stone through distance from the Kalchakra venue and the Mahabodhi Temple.

According to intelligence sources, the security personnel are required to maintain a high level of alertness on account of the suspected link of a key project functionary with the Anand Marg.

Anand Marg, it may be recalled, has been allegedly involved in several acts of subversion including the much publicised Purulia arms drop case.

It was on account of the suspected Anand Marg back ground of a Maitreya Project functionary that KR Narayanan, the then vice-president at the last moment changed his decision to participate in the Bhoomi Pooja ceremony organised by the Maitreya Project.

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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.