The South Asian Times

21 February 2018 14:27 PM

2 bombs found near Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, NIA begins probe

By IANS

Patna, Jan 20: Two crude bombs were recovered near the Mahabodhi temple in Bihar's Bodh Gaya district, where Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama is camping, prompting authorities to heighten security. An NIA team was at the site on Saturday to probe the incident.

The bombs were found on Friday night, police said.

According to district officials, a low intensity bomb blast had taken place near the site where the two crude bombs were recovered on Friday night.

Police denied media reports that claimed the bombs were found inside the revered Mahabodhi temple.

"The explosive materials were found in the vicinity of the Kalachakra ground near the temple and kept far away from the temple," Inspector General of Police, Patna Zone, N.H. Khan said.

A senior police official in Bodh Gaya said three suspected persons have been found roaming in Bodh Gaya.

Police will identify them soon, he said.

The NIA team is to defuse the two crude bombs, police said.

"A team of NIA reached Bodh Gaya and visited the Mahabodhi temple to probe the incident," a district police official said.

A forensic team from Patna was also in Bodh Gaya to investigate the matter.

"We have given all the information to the NIA team. And if it requires more information, the state police will provide it," a senior police officer camping in Bodh Gaya said.

Security of foreign monasteries and other sensitive places has also been beefed up and additional security forces deployed. Thousands of the Dalai Lama's devotees, including Hollywood star Richard Gere, and hundreds of foreign tourists have been staying in Bodh Gaya, where it is peak tourist season now.

In 2013, a series of bombs exploded at Bodh Gaya's Mahabodhi temple in which two Buddhist monks were injured.

Update: 20 Jan, 2018

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