Monk on hunger strike, wants more security at Bodh Gaya

Monk on hunger strike, wants more security at Bodh Gaya

Monk on hunger strike, wants more security at Bodh Gaya

A Buddhist monk is on hunger strike in Bihar's Bodh Gaya town to demand special security arrangements at the revered Mahabodhi temple following the July 7 serial bomb blasts that left two people injured.

Monk Vante Bhut Sarang, in his 60s, began his indefinite hunger strike Friday to pressurise government as well as the temple authorities to put in place a foolproof security system at the temple.

"I am sitting on a hunger strike to demand round-the-clock security at the temple," he told IANS over telephone Saturday.

He also supported Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's demand for the deployment of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at the temple.

"The CISF or any other central para-military force should be deployed for security at the temple," the monk said.

"I will not end my hunger strike until security arrangements are put in place at the temple. If my demands are not fulfilled, I will prefer to die," he added.

The Bihar government Saturday banned the sale of small cooking gas cylinders in the state.

State Food and Consumer Protection Minister Shyam Razak warned that action would be initiated against the firms flouting the ban.

The move came after 10 bombs exploded July 7 at the 1,500-year-old temple. Police later recovered and defused three live small gas cylinder bombs, weighing two-three kgs.

The Mahabodhi temple - a Unesco World Heritage site - is where the Buddha, who was born in neighbouring Nepal, attained enlightenment around 2,550 years ago.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is probing the blasts.