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Bodh Gaya | HE News Bureau | 7 July 2013 :: Terror struck the temple town of Bodh Gaya in Bihar, as nine serial explosions rocked the Mahabodhi Temple complex on Sunday morning.
Three tourists, and two monks from Myanmar and Tibet, have been injured in the blasts. The injured are being treated at the Anugrah Narain Magadh Medical College hospital.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar strongly condemned the serial blasts in and around the temple and demanded deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to protect the world famous Buddhist shrine while visted the blast sites with other Govt officials.
Union home secretary Anil Goswami confirmed that the Bodh Gaya blasts were a terror attack. And Bihar Police suspects the involvement of Indian Mujahideen in the temple blasts.
“The serial blasts deserve strongest condemnation in strongest possible words as the perpetrators targeted the place of religious faith of crores of people with an aim to create fear among them,” he told reporters after inspecting the blast sites at the Mahabodhi temple and surrounding areas in Gaya district with senior civil and police officials.
The chief minister of Bihar said that the NIA and local police will probe the incident and expose the conspiracy and designs of those behind the attack.
According to Gaya Police, the blasts took place in quick succession between 5.30am and 6am in the temple complex and near the Mahabodhi tree.
One of the blasts took place just under the enlightenment tree causing partial damage to the Buddha footprints in the shrine premises.
Four blasts took place inside the shrine premises, while another three blasts took place in the Tregar monastery premises. The Tregar monastery belongs to the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, the second most important spiritual leader for the Buddhists. The Karmapa – head of the Karma Kagyu school, one of the four main schools of Tibetan Buddhism – was not in Bodh Gaya at the time of the blasts.
One blast each took place at the great Buddha statue and a bus parked on the Sujata bypass.
Arvind Singh, a member of Mahabodhi Temple Management Commitee said two other bombs, one near the 80 feet statue and one at bus stand have been defused.
Cops have sealed the entry routes to the shrine. A NIA team is expected to arrive shortly for the probe.
“A team of NIA officers is coming to Bodh Gaya from Kolkata,” DIG special branch Parasnath said.
The DIG said, “The sanctum sanctorum of the Mahabodhi Temple is intact. The temple premises have been sanitised.”
“In the first blast which took place near the Bodhi tree, a table was blown up because of which two persons were injured. The second blast, I think, was inside the enclosure where books were kept. The furniture was damaged but there was no damage to the monuments or statues,” he said.
Asked about the nature of explosives used, S K Bharadwaj, ADG (Law and Order) said they were low intensity time bombs.
He said, “We got information about six-seven months back that there may be a terror attack on the Mahabodhi temple. After that we had beefed up secuirty and deployed extra forces”.
Bodh Gaya Buddhist temple, around 10 km from Gaya and 100 km from capital Patna, is world famous. Lord Buddha had attained enlightenment here under the Mahabodhi tree in the temple premises.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama makes frequent trips to Bodh Gaya and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had visited it six months back. A total of 52 countries have established their monasteries here. Rajapaksa condemned the attack immediately after getting the blast news.
In a well-coordinated terror attack, nine low-intensity serial blasts on Sunday targeted the world renowned pilgrimage town of Bodh Gaya and Maha Bodhi Temple complex, one of the holiest Buddhist shrines, early in the morning that left two monks and three tourists injured.
The monks, Tenzing Lama and Bala Sanga, are admitted at the Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College and Hospital (ANMMCH) at Gaya and their condition is stable, hospital superintendent Sitaram Prasad said.
Lama hails from the Tibet Autonomous Region, while Sanga is a Myanmarese national. The monks are now out of danger.
President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and political leaders across the board on Sunday condemned the serial blasts at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya as “a senseless act of violence to target innocent pilgrims which will be never be tolerated.” Expressing deep anguish over the blasts, Mr. Mukherjee said it was a senseless act of violence targeting innocent pilgrims and monks at the temple dedicated to Gautam Buddha — the apostle of peace. He asked people to cooperate with the authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
As a conflict between the Rohingya Muslims and the Buddhist locals are going on in state of Rakhine of Mynmar, some 4000 ousted Rohingya Muslim took shelter in Delhi and Hyderabad and started anti Hindu-Buddhist activities in India. It is suspected that these fanatic groups of Rohingya Muslims are now participating in various subversive activities under the banner of Indian Mujaheddin and SIMI.
Just some hours back a threat from Pakistan’s Karachi reached to the Hindu Existence editorial desk for a serious attack upon India on 26th March 2015. The another threat came six-seven months back that there would be a terror attack on the Mahabodhi temple. But we did not took care and precaution properly.
Though the name of ‘Indian Mujaheddin’ has been suspected by the Bihar Police for the present serial blasts in Bodh Gaya, a nexus between Chinese perpetrators (through Maoist Groups patronized by China) and the Islamic Terrorists (through Mujaheddin Groups patronized by Pakistan) cannot be overlooked as both Tibetan and Myanmarese Buddhist monks were targeted by the blast against peace.
Nine synchronized blasts at Buddhist holy sites in Bodh Gaya leave no doubt that they were targets of a terror attack. All the more so because intelligence inputs have been received, over the last six months, of the Mahabodhi temple complex being on a target list for terrorists. That the terrorists slipped through and managed to plant at least ten bombs (one live bomb defused later by anti bomb squad) despite such warnings only highlights the inefficiency of the police and the security apparatus. The only saving grace is that the multiple blasts took place early in the morning on a Sunday, limiting injuries to five.
Authorities, however, must not derive solace from that fact but rather redouble efforts to capture the perpetrators. The history of terror attacks in India shows that terrorists have been able to get away with multiple outrages before they are nabbed. In investigating the source of the attacks, all possibilities need to be kept in mind. But it’s noteworthy that alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives arrested for a failed attack in Pune last year acknowledged having scoped out Buddhist sites in Bodh Gaya for a future attack, their motive being revenge for riots against Rohingya Muslims in Buddhist Myanmar. Moreover, Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Sayeed has linked the Indian government to attacks on Muslims in Myanmar.
Terror attack in Bodh Gaya as Rohingya Retaliation.
Related News: IM, Rohingya outfit under scanner for Bodh Gaya blasts.
Courtesy: PTI | AFP | ABP News | HT | Agencies.