Bodh Gaya Blasts: Indian Authorities Detain Suspect; Strikes Organized By Opposition Parties Affect Normal Life

  @AmruthaGayathri on
Bodhgaya
Indian security personnel inspect the site of an explosion inside the Mahabodhi temple complex at Bodhgaya on July 7, 2013.

Indian authorities detained a man, on Monday, in connection with a coordinated terrorist bomb attack on the Mahabodhi temple complex in the pilgrim town of Bodh Gaya, where Gautam Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment, in the eastern state of Bihar.

On Sunday, nine serial explosions hit the temple, one of the holiest Buddhist shrines in the world, and other places in the temple town, injuring two monks.

Nayyer Hasnain Khan of India’s National Investigation Agency, or NIA, said the detention was based on an identity card, which was retrieved from the temple compound, after a search led by a five-member team from the NIA, who were flown in from New Delhi, shortly after the blasts on Sunday.

“One suspect hailing from Barachatti block (in Bodhgaya) has been detained and we are questioning him. We have been analyzing the (CCTV) footage and based on that some more people would be questioned soon,” a senior police official was reported as saying by Press Trust of India, or PTI.

“All the CCTV cameras in the Mahabodhi temple premises were fully functional. As you must have seen in the CCTV footage, both state security personnel and temple's own security personnel were present. I don’t think there was any lapse on security front,” the official said.

Authorities have tightened security at the temple and surrounding areas since the blasts and Bihar police confirmed, on Sunday, that there was no damage to the shrine.

Three live bombs were reportedly found at the temple and defused, while an investigation report said the bombs were triggered by analog clocks, set to detonate on Sunday morning at 5:30 a.m. (8 p.m. EDT, Saturday), NDTV  reported.

Normal life was affected in Magadh division, an administrative geographical unit of Bihar, on Monday, due to separate calls for strikes from the state’s opposition parties -- the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP, and Rashtriya Janata Dal, or RJD -- to protest against the government’s alleged security lapses.

BJP workers forced shops and businesses to shut down in Gaya, the headquarters of Magadh division, while RJD workers enforced closures across the division, PTI reported.

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