Sri Lankan President Mahindha Rajpaksa, accompanied by his wife Shiranthi Rajpaksa and a 70-member delegation, on Friday arrived at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya for pilgrimage.
Rajpaksa was received at the Gaya International Airport by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Education Minister P K Shahi and senior state government civil and police officials, official sources said.
He was accorded a guard of honour by the state police. From the airport, the cavalcade of the Sri Lankan president and members of his delegation drove straight to the Mahabodhi temple where they will perform religious rituals, the sources said.
Rajpaksa would meditate before a peepal tree where Lord Buddha attained enlightenment and visit the Sri Lankan Buddhist Vihar in the temple town.
The Chief Minister will host a lunch for the Sri Lankan President and his delegation, the sources said. Meanwhile, CPI(M-L) Liberation workers raised slogans against the Sri Lankan President from some distance as his cavalcade drove towards the Mahabodhi temple.
The protesters, who had mingled in the crowd that gathered to welcome the visiting dignitaries, shouted slogans like the ‘Killer of Tamils go back’.
Two of the protesters have been detained for questioning, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Law and Order), Rakesh Kumar Dube said.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Bodh Gaya town in view of the Sri Lankan president’s visit, police sources said.