One person detained in Bodh Gaya serial blasts

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Bodh Gaya, July 8: One person was detained by the NIA today in connection with the terror attack on Buddhism's holiest shrine here even as authorities released the CCTV footage of the serial blasts at the historic Mahabodhi temple and adjoining areas.

As a team of investigators from NIA, NSG and other agencies searched for clues in yesterday's 10 serial blasts at Bodh Gaya that left two monks injured, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the state government will make a proposal to the Centre to ask CISF to take over the security of the shrine.

A team of the National Security Guard (NSG), which picked up samples from the area, has sent a preliminary report to the Union Home Ministry, saying the low-intensity bombs worked like improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and were trigerred through analog clock timers. The bombs contained a mix of ammonium nitrate and sulphur and were neatly packed in small cylinders, the report said.

Bihar Director General of Police Abhyanand said a person identified as Binod Kumar Barachatti has been detained on the basis of a voter Identity card in his name which was found during search inside the temple after the explosions. He told newsmen in Patna that lab tests have so far confirmed the presence of ammonium nitrate in the crude low intensity bomb used in the blasts but there were no trace of TNT or other explosive material.

One person detained in Bodh Gaya serial blasts, CCTV footage

Papers containing the name of the location where it had to be planted was found pasted on each bomb, he said. "The name of the location is written in English and some words in Urdu," he added.

The temple's sanctum sanctorum and the Mahabodhi Tree, under which Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment, did not suffer any damage in the blasts.

In the CCTV footage of the blast that took place on the left side of Mahabodhi tree in the temple premises at 5:25 A.M yesterday, a boy and a girl, aged about 25 years, were seen walking on the road immediately before the blast. Taken by surprise at the sound of explosion, the duo were seen stopping for a brief period to find out as to what happened before fleeing from the spot to save themselves.

The footage also showed another man, aged about 30 years, walking inside the Mahabodhi temple and going upto the blast side before making a quick exit.

As many as 13 bombs were planted inside the Mahabodhi temple complex in Bodh Gaya of which ten had exploded, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said in Talegaon in Maharashtra

The smoke billowing from the blast was also captured in the footage which also showed over 100 people standing inside the temple at the time of occurrence of the blast. The CCTV footage, which was released by the District Development Officer (DDC) Giridhar Dayal, SP (City) Chandan Kushwaha and members of Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC), captured the sound of the second blast which took place in Ratnagiri temple located barely 50 metres away from the Mahabodhi temple.

In the third footage of the blast at Taradevi temple, thick smoke was seen billowing out after explosion and scores of people running away for safety.

The NSG post-blast analysis also said that some splinters were put in the ammonium nitrate, sulphur and pottasium emulsion for causing damage in various locations in the temple complex. The explosives were packed and kept in small cylinders which are used for commercial purposes, the report said.

A five-member NIA team comprising a DIG and two SPs reached here yesterday by a special plane from New Delhi and went straight to the Mahabodhi temple to start investigations. Security has been stepped up at the temple and adjoining areas.

Asked about possibility of Maoists involvement as Gaya is a naxal-hit district, Nitish Kumar and Abhyanand avoided a direct answer and said it was a matter of investigation. Kumar said the temple, which has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 2002, would be reopened for the public after the completion of search operations by NIA.

"The temple has been closed to help the NIA thoroughly search for evidences," he said.

Kumar said Sri Lankan President Mahendra Rajapakshe and several other personalities from world over had talked to him about the incident.

PTI

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