New high security Gateless Gate

Here’s a picture of the new high-tech front gate of the Meditation resort. It replaces the 30-odd year old entrance made from heavy folding timber which Osho famously termed the “Gateless Gate,” in reference to a classic collection of Zen koans of the same name.

The new entrance to the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune
The new entrance to the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune

With hightened security following the German Bakery explosion last year, the austere zen-aesthetic design features a metal detector and a security railing  around the receptionist/guard’s desk.

German Bakery “terror mastermind” arrested

Last year I was in Pune at the time of the shocking terrorist attack on the German Bakery cafe, a few hundred yards away from the Meditation Resort,  which killed 17 people and injured 56.

Initially,  numerous Indian police agencies (city police, city anti-terror squad, state police, state anti-terror police, national anti-terror police, national Central Bureau of Investigation … ) claimed to have identified the bombers. In Keystone Cops fashion, they all claimed someone different. It looked like the outcome would be the familiar Indian police “we have completely solved the case, regretfully all the culprits have absconded to Dubai.”

Now however, the Anti-Terror Squad have arrested a highly credible suspect.  Mirza Himayat Inayat Baig was arrested on September 7, at Mahatma Gandhi Bus stand in the Camp area of the city [ie near MG Road.] He is being described by police as the mastermind of the plot, and this seems believable. Baig has apparently been linked to the mobile phone used to detonate the device, had false identity papers in his possession, lived under false names, and is claimed used 25 email identities to contact other members of the gang. He is alleged to be linked to the banned group Indian Mujahideen, regarded by police as responsible for other blasts in Surat, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi. The “chargesheet” against him runs to more than 2000 pages.

The German Bakery itself is set to re-open around Christmas. There will be no pavement seating, as this was “encroached” on public land. Instead there will be a seating area upstairs. It sounds like it will be a lot posher than it used to be.

My guess it that the Resort managment would probably be happy if it hadn’t re-opened at all, as they regarded it as a magnet for  drug dealers and unsavoury types  (I agree!). They may perhaps be happier if it opens in a more up-market format.