Indian authorities investigating a coordinated bomb attack that rocked the Mahabodhi temple complex, one of Buddhism’s holiest sites, in the pilgrim town of Bodh Gaya in the eastern state of Bihar, spotted six suspects, in footage from 16 security cameras installed around the temple premises, news reports said on Tuesday.
“We have detected six suspects, including a woman, since their movement close to the temple gate and wall, hours before the blasts, were captured in the CCTV footage,” police officials told Indo-Asian News Service, or IANS, but added that “the poor footage has complicated the matter, as despite identifying some clear movement at around 4:10 a.m. close to the Bodhi tree, we are unable to see the face.”
“Three suspects arrived near the temple in a tempo (a vehicle) on Sunday morning followed by three more suspects (who) arrived at the same place in an Indica (a car),” a police official was quoted as saying by IANS.
Police suspect six individuals who were working with the temple’s governing body, the Mahabodhi Temple Management Committee, for the past six months, and have gone missing after the explosions on Sunday morning.
A team of investigators from the National Investigation Agency, the Intelligence Bureau and Bihar police suspects that the people spotted in the footage are the same six people who have gone missing since the explosions.
Investigators said ammonium nitrate, timers and liquid petroleum gas cylinders were used in the blasts, and, although traces of trinitrotoluene, or TNT, and Research Department Explosive, or RDX, were found, there has been no confirmation that these substances were used in the bombs, the Hindu newspaper reported.
“In nearly all the blasts, gas cylinders, each weighing 2.5 kg, were used. RDX traces are possible, but nothing is confirmed yet,” a senior official in the Bihar police force was quoted as saying by the Hindu.
Three pieces of writing have been found on the cylinders, two of which read “bus” and “Tergar (monastery) front” written in English, while a third word read “bada (big) Buddha” in Urdu, IANS reported.
A suspect, who was taken into custody earlier, based on an identity card retrieved from the temple premises, was interrogated, “but nothing came out of him,” a police official said, according to IANS.