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Lanka tightens security for holy tree after Bodh Gaya attack

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Buddhist-majority country today tightened security at Sri Maha Bodhi, one of its holiest sites, a day after terror attack hit Mahabodhi temple in

Police and clergy held an emergency meeting to discuss security at the Sri Maha Bodhi, or the most venerated banyan tree in the island, in the north-central town of Anuradhapura.

"Following the attacks at Bodh Gaya, I have asked police to review security at our temple and make necessary arrangements to ensure that there is no such incident here," chief priest Pallegama Sirinivasa said.

A senior police officer said they had sent additional constables to bolster security at the temple and decided to close down a visitor car park located near the temple.

"We are taking a series of measures to increase security," the official said declining to give details.

He said security at the temple had been somewhat eased a year ago, the first time since the LTTE carried out an attack in May 1985. The attack killed over 140 devotees and three monks.

Sri Maha Bodhi is a Sacred Fig tree. It is said to be the southern branch from the historical Bodhi tree Sri Maha Bodhi at Bodh Gaya under which Lord Buddha attained Enlightenment

Thousands of people from visit Bodh Gaya on pilgrimage.

In the wake of yesterday's 10 serial blasts at Bodh Gaya in Bihar that left two monks injured, Sri Lankan government has asked its citizens to delay their departures to the temple town by a week.

"In view of the situation the pilgrims are warned to delay their departures by one week," the Sri Lankan government said here in a statement.

First Published: Mon, July 08 2013. 19:40 IST