A rise in crimes in the birthplace of Gautam Buddha has locals as well as followers of Buddhism worried.
A donation box was stolen two weeks ago. Disciples had offered this box to Lord Buddha and it had been placed next to the footmark of Buddha in stone, guarded within the premises of the Lumbini Development Trust. Group 4 security personnel stand guard at the gate and the Regional Police Post is about 400 metres from the gate. Yet there was a security lapse that seems to have encouraged others. On 7 June, a planning officer was attacked by khukuri-wielding mercenaries following a quarrel over a contract bid.
A donation box was stolen two years ago as well, construction materials have been stolen, and Nilgai have been poached. Some years ago, the Japanese monk Nawatame was murdered in front of a shrine. These incidents indicate a gang of criminals are involved in these activities.
Lumbini, as the birthplace of Gautam Buddha, symbolises peace and non-violence to the world. The criminal activities here have become a matter of shame for Nepal and the local police administration should act before irreversible damage is done to Lumbini's image.