Mahabodhi temple to get CISF security cover

Bihar government to bear cost of para-military deployment

Mahabodhi temple to get CISF security cover

The Home Ministry has agreed to Bihar government’s request to deploy Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to protect the Mahabodhi temple at Bodhgaya.

 The temple that witnessed multiple blasts on July 7 would be the first religious shrine in the country to get a paramilitary security cover.

The Bihar government is to bear the cost of CISF deployment.

The Home ministry is considered to have taken this decision after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar wrote a letter to the Prime Minister asking for an intervention. The letter written on Monday was released to the media on Wednesday. The Bihar Chief Minister complained to the PM that even after a formal request, the Home Ministry had not taken a decision.

“In view of the raised concerns of the state government about the security of this sacred complex, the Home Ministry was requested, through a letter sent on 19th July, to provide security cover by CISF,” the chief minister said in his letter. “Mahabodhi temple was not just another religious shrine.

Rather this ancient temple which also encloses the site of Vajrasana (the spot where Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree, mediated and attained enlightenment 2600 years ago) is the holiest place for Buddhist pilgrimage in the world. That is why the temple complex has been inscribed as a World Heritage site in 2002,” he said.

Nitish said that CISF security cover to the site was “urgent” and “obvious”. In its letter to the Home Ministry the Bihar government had offered to pay for the deployment.
The temple had earlier been under police protection with additional security assistance from a private agency. However, there was no guard from the agency at the temple complex the night before the blasts.

According to Home Ministry sources, there are legal hurdles to be resolved to implement the decision because the CISF is mandated to provide security to airports, nuclear installations and government buildings.

On the request of the Bihar government, the NIA has been given the investigation of the July 7 blasts as terrorist involvement in it was suspected. Some unexploded bombs were also recovered from the site.

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