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A file photo of the Dalai Lama. Photo: Jasjeet Plaha/Hindustan Times. (Jasjeet Plaha/Hindustan Times.)
A file photo of the Dalai Lama. Photo: Jasjeet Plaha/Hindustan Times.
(Jasjeet Plaha/Hindustan Times.)

Dalai Lama’s Kumbh visit cancelled

Tibetan spiritual leader’s three-day tour called off due to ‘security reasons’

Allahabad: The proposed visit of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to the Maha Kumbh congregation here has been cancelled due to security reasons, a senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader said on Sunday.

“The Dalai Lama’s three-day tour, which was to begin today (Sunday), has been cancelled as the necessary security clearance could not be obtained from the Uttar Pradesh government," VHP Kashi Prant chief Manoj Srivastava said.

However, senior government officials have refused to comment on the cancellation of Dalai Lama’s visit. Srivastava said “the Dalai Lama was expected to inaugurate a Lama Nagar, situated inside our camp, where Buddhist literature and Tibetan artefacts will be on display". However, “The Lama Nagar will be inaugurated in the presence of our patron Ashok Singhal by Buddhist monks who had arrived a few days earlier," he said. “Although there is disappointment over cancellation of the spiritual leader’s tour, his message of peace and brotherhood will nevertheless be disseminated at the ongoing congregation".

The visit of the Dalai Lama, who was scheduled to take part in a number of functions organized at the Kumbh by the VHP, had triggered protests from some religious leaders on the ground that Buddhists did not believe in the “sanctity of the Vedas".

However, the VHP has been claiming that Buddhism “like Jainism and Sikhism, is an offshoot of Vedanta philosophy" and that the Dalai Lama has been attending a number of functions organized by Hindu outfits.

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