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Last updated: February 1, 2003

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Kalchakra puja begins in Bodh Gaya PTI [ SUNDAY, JANUARY 12, 2003 03:10:05 PM ] BODH GAYA: A section of neo-Buddhists sitting on a "fast-unto death" here protesting the alleged "pro-China" bias of Dalai Lama and 17th Karmapa Ugyen Trinley were taken into custody on Saturday night even as the 28th Kalchakra puja began here on Sunday amidst tight security arrangements.

The nine-day puja festival, considered to be the most important ritual of Mahayana sect of Buddhism, opened with a sermon by Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama to nearly 20,000 Buddhists.

Earlier, delegates from Vietnam, Tibet, China and Sri Lanka offered prayers for world peace and long life of the Dalai Lama.

Deputy Inspector General Of Police, Magadh Range, N C Dhondiyal told PTI the neo-Budhists, sitting on fast since Thursday, were taken into custody late last night and kept at Chandauti police station near here.

"There is no tension here on account of the agitation launched by a section of neo-Buddhists under the banner of Bodh Gaya Mahabodhi Vihar All India Action Committee against the puja and presence of the two spritual leaders," he said.

Security in the area had been stepped up following the presence of the Dalai Lama and the 17th Karmapa, he added.

120 officers, including the Deputy Superintendents of Police, 165 armed policemen, 275 constables, 42 women cops, besides a platoon of mounted police force and a sniffer dog squad have been pressed into service to guard the puja venue, Dhondiyal said.

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