Security was intensified in Bihar’s Bodh Gaya after a low-intensity bomb exploded and two live ones were detected on Friday night. The Bihar police and intelligence agencies believe they were planted by a terror outfit to create panic among the jamboree of over 10,000 tourists, rather than do any major damage.
Though the nature of the two live bombs is yet to be ascertained, the one that exploded suggests they could also be of low intensity.
Confirming the detection of the two live bombs, Magadh Range DIG Vinay Kumar said they will be defused in Niranjana river after being inspected by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). “We are waiting for the NIA team to arrive. The bombs will be defused after its inspection. An attempt of serial blasts has been averted,” he said. He added that the bombs were discovered in two boxes, one near gate Number 4 of Mahabodhi temple and another near a Sri Lankan monastery.
Meanwhile, the security of The Dalai Lama, who is staying in the Tibetan temple till February 2, has been heightened. Despite the temple’s multi-layered security layout, all visitors are being physically frisked besides being made to pass through metal detector gates.
On Friday, local policemen took the low-intensity bomb, which exploded at around 5 pm, for a firecracker. Due to Bihar Governor Satyapal Malik’s visit to the city on Friday, security forces took time to start a thorough search around the Mahabodhi temple, Kalchakra Maidan and the Tibetan temple.
An intelligence agency source said: “A look at live bombs shows there are batteries and wires inside. We cannot comment at this stage about the nature of explosives. Since one bomb that exploded was of low intensity, the police expect that two other bombs could also be of low intensity.” He added that armed security still cannot be provided inside the temple premises because of established norms of Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee.
On July 7, 2013, the Bodh Gaya temple complex was rocked by a series of explosions. A total of 13 bombs were planted, of which 10 exploded and three were recovered and defused.