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Home > News > Report

Monks: CBI must probe cutting of Bodhi tree branch

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | July 09, 2007 14:33 IST

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Buddhist monks have asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] to order a CBI probe into the cutting of a branch of the Bodhi tree in Bodh Gaya in Bihar.

They also accused the Nitish Kumar-led government of suppressing facts on the issue.

"Only a CBI probe into cutting of a branch of the Bodhi tree will help remove the doubt among Buddhists worldwide. We have urged Dr Singh to order a CBI probe," Bhadant Anand, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Bhikkhu Mahasangh told in Patna on Monday.

In his letter, which was also sent to United Progressive Alliance chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, he said a CBI probe will expose the hands behind the case.

Anand said the state government was not serious about coming out clean on the issue.

"In Bodh Gaya, everybody knew about the incident but people are not ready to open their mouth due to fear of muscle power of the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee. How could state government unaware of it," he queried.

Around a year ago, it was widely reported that some miscreants had cut off a branch of the Bodhi tree. The Nitish Kumar-led government was quick in issuing a denial.

However, after a hue and cry over the incident, the state government got samples collected from the part of the tree that was chopped and sent it to a Pune-based laboratory to ascertain the truth. Nearly 11 months later, the laboratory report is yet to be made public.  

"What happens to the test report? Why is the state government not making the report public and how did the government order a fresh laboratory test at the Dehradun-based Forest Research Institute to ascertain whether the branch was cut off or not," questioned Anand, who is also spearheading the movement for control of Buddhist over the management of the Bodh Gaya temple.

Arup Brahamchari, a Buddhist monk, has filed a criminal case against officials of the temple with evidence, including eight photographs, showing that a branch of the Bodhi tree was cut off.

The Bodhi tree is considered sacred to millions of Buddhists across the world, as it is believed that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment under it about 2,550 years ago.