India refutes reports about Holy Bodhi tree sapling plantation row

New Delhi(PTI): India on Saturday said that the sapling of holy Bodhi tree was planted in a temple in Lumbini, the birth place of Gautam Buddha in Nepal, as per the directions given by the Nepalese authorities.

India refutes reports about Holy Bodhi tree sapling plantation row

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was supposed to plant the sapling some 500 metres north from the temple
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was supposed to plant the sapling some 500 metres north from the temple

Concerns were raised on Friday about the location of the plantation of the sacred Bodhi tree sapling by the Indian Ambassador in Lumbini which lies in the risk prone area, thereby posing a threat to the nearby historical sites of Ashoka Pillar and the Mayadevi Temple. However, the Indian Embassy issued a statement on Saturday, clarifying that “the site of planting the sapling was agreed” by both Nepalese and Indian authorities.

“The location of the sapling of the sacred Bodhi tree was agreed by both sides and conveyed to the Indian side through a formal note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nepal on November 13” the statement by the Indian Embassy said. “The solemn tree plantation ceremony on December 10 was attended by senior members of the Lumbini Development Trust including the member secretary of the Trust as well as monks from several countries,” the statement added.

India’s Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae on Wednesday planted the sapling some 100 metres away from the Mayadevi Temple in Lumbini which lies in the risk map of the area.

Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was supposed to plant the sapling some 500 metres north from the temple during his visit to the country for the 18th SAARC Summit. But as the Prime Minister’s Lumbini visit was cancelled, the Ambassador has planted the sapling on his behalf.

“The gift of sacred sapling of Bodhi tree is a symbol of ancient civilisational bonds between India and Nepal,” the statement by the Indian Embassy added. PTI SBP SUA KUN SUA