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How Pakistan outsourced a plot to kill the Dalai Lama in India

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Bengaluru/New Delhi, Oct 3: It all began in the year 2010, when a bunch of operatives of the Indian Mujahideen walked into Bodhgaya in Bihar and conducted a reconnaissance, with an intent to strike at the holy site.

Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama

The plan was set into motion in 2013, when operatives of the Students Islamic Movement of India, the feeder outfit of the IM struck at Bodhgaya. Nine explosions took place inside the Maha Bodhi temple and loud message was sent out while trying to espouse the cause of the Rohingya Muslims.

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The 2013 blast was only a grim reminder of things to come. The writing was on the wall and in this context the Research and Analysis Wing had even put out a note speaking about a new Lashkar-e-Tayiba backed outfit coming up in a bid to take up the Rohingya cause.

A note put out by the R&AW to the Indian Government stated that a front called the Difa-e-Musalman (DeM) was set up by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba to fight in Myanmar and take up the issue. Over the years the the DeM looked for partners to carry out attacks and soon it found support in the Bangladesh based Hizbut Tahrir (HT).

It was the HT which then outsourced the operation to target the Buddhists and also to plot the assassination of the Dalai Lama to groups such as the SIMI, IM and now the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, which has its strongest presence in West Bengal.

The Americans too got wind of this plot and had in 2013 informed the Indian agencies about the same. India was told about that Arakan in Myanmar had become the training ground for terrorists who would launch attacks. Further India was also told that these terrorists were planning on bringing in weapons from Thailand to strike.

Fast forward 2018:

Investigations over the years between 2013 and 2018 showed that the terrorists in India was backed heavily by ISI sponsored groups. India based terror groups were getting the support of the DeM, HuJI, Lashkar, Jaish-e-Mohammad among others. It was also found that support was coming in from other groups that were based in Thailand, Singapore and Bangladesh.

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With the Rohingya issue being raked up once again and the Indian government making it clear that they would have to return, another plot to carry out something big was hatched. This time around the target was the Dalai Lama himself. While the plot was busted in the nick of time, the unearthing of the conspiracy revealed some major details.

On January 19 2018, the police recovered explosives from the Bodhgaya temple complex.

The plot was hatched by Jahidul Islam, a resident of Bangladesh along with other residents of West Bengal that included Mustafizur Rahman, Adil Sheikh, Dilwar Hossain, Abdul Karim and Arif Hussain.

The investigation trail was not restricted to Bodhgaya alone. It led the NIA to multiple states such as Karnataka, West Bengal and Kerala as well. Each of these states were used as a safe hideout by the terrorists.

A portion of the NIA chargesheet in this case read, " in furtherance of the conspiracy, the accused persons contacted and assembled together at various places, took hideouts at Jahanabad and Masaurhi in Bihar, carried out reconnaissance of the targets at Bodhgaya and procured explosives and other materials for manu facture of the IED. Accused Jahidul Islam with the help of other co-accused made 3 IEDs and 2 hand grenades. The IEDs were planted by Adil Sheikh, Dilwar Hossain and Arif Hussain in the premises of Bodhgaya on 19th Jan, 2018 in order to cause loss to public life and property during the auspicious presence of his holiness the Dalai Lama and also during the visit of his Excellency the Governor of Bihar at Bodhgaya, thus committing a terrorist act."

A continuation:

NIA officials tell OneIndia that this act in 2018 was just a continuation of what transpired in 2010 and 2013. The issue and the plot were same and only the terrorist organisation had changed.

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Intelligence Bureau reports in the possession of OneIndia show that these terror groups were not planning on restricting the attacks to Bodhgaya alone. They were planning on striking at various other places and cite the same issue. Bodhgaya was the target as it was symbolic. They wanted to strike when the Dalai Lama was there so that it would gather a lot of attention.

While attacks were one part of the plot, recruiting Rohingya Muslims into terror groups is another part of the plan. The alert levels in places where the Rohingyas are in large numbers are at an all time high. IB officials also warn that there could be a lot of activity ahead of the elections.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs said on the issue of Rohingyas that they are not refugees. They are intruders and will be sent out of India, he also said.

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