|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Monks demand arrest of Mahabodhi temple priest
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | December 04, 2007 12:18 IST
Buddhist monks have demanded the arrest of chief priest of Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, Bhante Bodhi Pal, ex-officio secretary of Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee (BMTC) Kalicharan Yadav and public relations officer Bhajju Yadav for chopping off a branch of the Bodhi tree.
Bhadant Anand, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Bhikkhu Mahasangh (All India Monks Association), said three of them should be arrested immediately after the trio was found guilty by Magadh division commissioner K P Ramiah in his report submitted to the court in a case related to cutting of a Bodhi tree branch.
"It is not a joke. Their act hurt millions of Buddhists worldwide. They should be punished. The state government should arrest them, if not the Centre," Bhante Anand said.
K P Ramaiah submitted his report in the court in Gaya in which he indicted three top officials of the temple. Ramaiah was directed by Chief Judicial Magistrate, Gaya, Yamuna Prasad Singh in August and October to probe the circumstances in which a branch of the tree was chopped off.
Ramaiah report also recommends a probe into the personal wealth of the trio. A Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute in its detailed report submitted to the Bihar government in October said the branch of the sacred Bodhi tree was cut three years ago.
In June this year, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had ordered a test to be conducted by the Forest Research Institute experts to determine whether the branch of the bodhi tree, under which Lord Buddha was believed to have attained enlightenment 2,550 years ago, was cut last year or not.
The UNESCO declared Mahabodhi temple as a World Heritage Site in 2002