Primary investigation by state and central agencies into the recovery of two live bombs near Mahabodhi Temple on January 19 has suggested that Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama was not the target, sources from the police and intelligence have said.
The probe has also hinted at involvement of a terror group other than IM and SIMI, which were allegedly involved in the 2013 Bodhgaya blasts, the sources added. The case is likely to be probed by Bihar ATS.
Bihar police has reviewed the security of the Dalai Lama and posted two additional SPs and as many deputy SPs in charge of his security for his stay in Bodhgaya till February 1. He is on a month-long stay in Bodhgaya and religious tourists from several Buddhist and European countries have arrived to listen to him.
“The Dalai Lama does not appear to have been the target as he was not scheduled to cross the routes where the two bombs were placed. But Buddhists could have been the target. There is a heavy inflow of monks during evening prayer. The second bomb, found opposite Mahabodhi Society, is on the route of the monks,” said a police officer. “We need to look beyond predictable angles of suspected IM involvement to avenge atrocities against Rohingya Muslims….”
“We have to take it seriously. In each explosive, about 7kg of ammonium nitrate appears to have been used and then the explosive was placed in thermos-like containers. It may not be a case of security breach, it is surely a serious security lapse,” said a police source, adding that it was sheer luck that the explosives were found in time. A forensic department source said if the explosives went off, “medium-scale” damage could have been caused. “This is probably the first time such heavy amount of explosives was placed,” said a source.
“CCTV footage shows three persons, who appear to be local residents. One of them is seen holding a bag and looks suspicious. It is possible that those behind the plan got assistance from local people,” said a police officer.