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Dressed as a monk, how ‘Black Beauty’ bombed the holy shrine at Bodhgaya


He went by the code name Black Beauty and he set up a plan to bomb Bodhgaya in a bid to rake up the cause of the Rohingya Muslims. On July 17, a series of blasts rocked the holy city of Bodhgaya. The impact in terms of destruction was low, but the message that the cadres of the Students Islamic Movement of India were trying to send out was a very loud one.

Dressed as a monk, how ‘Black Beauty’ bombed the holy shrine at Bodhgaya

Months before this blast, the chief of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Hafiz Saeed had called on his men and accomplices in the SIMI to strike and avenge the deaths of the Rohingya Muslims. While the Lashkar-e-Tayiba has tasked its various modules in different parts of the world to carry out independent attacks, in India, the job was given to the SIMI.

At Bodhgaya, explosions took place at 9 places inside the main Maha Bodhi temple complex near the Terror monastery and at the Great Buddha statue. Three unexploded Improvised Explosive Devices were also found.

Taking into account the larger ramifications of the incident and gravity of the offence, the Union Home Ministry transferred the case to the National Investigation Agency. On May 25th, the court while taking into account the evidence provided by the NIA, handed out a conviction to five persons- Haidar Ali, Mujibullah Ansari, Umair Siddiqui, Imtiaz Ansari and Azharuddin Qureshi.

Investigation revealed that Umair Siddiqui was the master mind and the oldest cadre of SIMI. He alongwith Azharuddin Qureshi arranged the logistics, planning, hideouts, raising of funds and procuring explosives and chemicals used in the preparation of IEDs. Haider Ali also known as 'Black beauty' was the trained bomb maker he raised funds to procure explosives and carry out the attacks. Haider had links with proscribed organisation SIMI and Indian Mujahideen. His entity "Black beauty" surfaced in the chats between the Bhatkal brothers and members of the Indian Mujahideen. During planting of IEDs Haider Ali dressed himself as a Buddhist monk and left the dress which was later seized by NIA and his DNA was later matched. Mujibullah Ansari was Haider's roommate in Ranchi, from whose room a map of Bodhgaya blast site and explosives materials were recovered. Majibullah alongwith Haider Ali and Imtiyaz Ansari planted the bombs at Bodh Gaya.

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