Leh Shocked Over Terror Attack On Mahabodhi Temple, Observes Bandh

Leh Shocked Over Terror Attack On Mahabodhi Temple, Observes Bandh

7 July 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Mohinder Verma

Jammu: Shocked over the terror attack on the world famous Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya area of Bihar early this morning, Leh town observed complete shutdown throughout the day today demanding stern action against those involved in the heinous act. As the religious sentiments of Buddhists have hurt badly due to the incident, Union Home Secretary, Anil Goswami has put the civil and police administration in the Leh district on alert with directions to step up vigil to foil any attempt on the part of anti-social elements to foment trouble. As soon as the news regarding terror attack on the Buddhist pilgrimage town of Bodh Gaya targeting the world-famed heritage Buddhist Stupa and the Bodhi Tree (Mahabodhi Temple) spread, Ladakh Buddhist Association gave a call for bandh in the Leh town and conveyed the decision to the district administration. In the meanwhile, civil and police administration received a communiqué from the Union Home Secretary, Anil Goswami regarding maintenance of high alert so that attempt(s) if any of the anti-social elements to foment trouble in the peaceful district or resort to rumors could be thwarted. Within shortest possible time, adequate number of police personnel and Magistrates were deployed in the town to maintain calm. In order to avoid inconvenience to the tourists arriving by air, the Deputy Commissioner, Simrandeep Singh asked the Ladakh Buddhist Association to allow passenger vehicles’ movement at least till 10 am, which was agreed to by the latter. There was complete bandh in the town with all the business establishments including shops and restaurants remaining closed for the whole day. The Buddhist community has suffered such a shock over the incident that even vegetable and fruit vendors could not be seen in the markets, which wore the deserted look. The bandh passed off peacefully. Thousands of people thronged Chowkhang Vihara, Ladakh Buddhist Association complex to attend a meeting held to condemn in strong words the barbaric act of anti-social elements in Bodh Gaya. The participants demanded immediate action by the Government of Bihar and Central Government to nab the culprits and bring them to book under law. After daylong bandh, thousands of people took out a candle light march in the evening to express anguish over the terror attack on the world-famed Mahabodhi Temple. “The people of Ladakh particularly the Buddhist community are shocked and numbed over the attack on Buddhist Stupa and the Bodhi Tree (Mahabodhi Temple) under which Buddha attained enlightenment 2557 years back”, LBA president, Dr Tandup said while talking to EXCELSIOR on telephone from Leh. “Those who have carried out terror attack are not only the enemies of mankind but enemies to the very peaceful existence of the world”, he said. He disclosed that complete Chakka Jam would be observed across the Leh district and in Zanskar division of Kargil district, which is also dominated by Buddhist population, tomorrow from 10 am to 4 pm. All the educational institutions will also remain closed to express grief and sorrow over the tragic serial bomb blasts in Bodh Gaya. Meanwhile, Minister for Urban Development, Nawang Rigjin Jora strongly condemned the terror attack on Mahabodhi temple in Gaya and said, “all those behind the heinous act should be identified and punished sternly”. Mr Jora also urged the Government of India and the Government of Bihar to ensure proper protection of all the Buddhist religious places and ensure that such incidents do not recur in future. Chief Executive Councilor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC), Leh, Rigzin Spalbar on behalf of people of Ladakh strongly condemned the serial explosions that rocked the Mahabodhi temple. He urged the Government to leave no stone unturned to take stern action against those involved in the heinous act. “It is a high time to handover the management of entire Bodh Gaya temple to the Buddhists so that the security and safety of the temples is ensured in future”, the CEC said.