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Bodh Gaya serial blasts Lookout notice issued for six persons

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Two days after serial blasts rocked the Mahabodhi Temple, the holiest Buddhism shrine here, the Bihar police investigating the case have failed to achieve any major breakthrough triggering speculations that the investigation is likely to be handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Reports, Tuesday, said that if Bihar investigators fail to gather credible evidence or establish any lead, the NIA may be entrusted with the task of investigating the serial blasts case.

The Bihar police this morning issued a lookout notice for six persons, believed to be the Mahabodhi temple workers, who have gone missing since the blasts took place.

The Bihar police on Monday claimed that it had detained one person for questioning in connection with the Mahabodhi Temple serial blasts. They also released the CCTV footage of the blasts and claimed it would help them zero in on possible suspects.

The local authorities also denied there were any lapse in security and said that the state officials’ response to the blasts was satisfactory and quick.

Meanwhile, sources close to Bihar police claim that the local investigators have identified at least three suspects in the case and teams have been dispatched to locate them and ascertain their identities.

Addressing a news conference yesterday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that he had asked the Centre for providing the services of the CISF for guarding historical monuments, religious sites and other important installations.

The Chief Minister also informed that the state government is mulling the creation of an anti-terror squad to avert such instances in future.

A team of the National Security Guard (NSG), which picked up samples from the area, 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 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.

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 am Sunday, 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 up to 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.

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