By Tenzin Dharpo
One of the two crude bombs near the Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, Bihar on Jan. 19, 2018. photo- fb
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 20: Bodh Gaya police has found two bombs near the the Mahabodhi temple premises on Friday night, sources said. Both the explosives have now been diffused by the bomb squad and situation according to local police, is under control and the main temple as been made open for public.
One of the two explosives identified as crude bombs or improvised explosive device was found near the gate no. 4 of the Mahabodhi temple while the other was found near the road leading to the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s residence there.
There are reports about a low intensity blast last night near the main temple that prompted security authorities to comb the vicinity leading to the recovery of the two bombs. The area near the main temple and the Dalai Lama’s residence have been beefed with additional security with vendors and gathering near those areas being banned although the Mahabodhi temple remains open for public.
While there is no information on who planted the bombs and with what agenda, India media has reported that investigations in the matter would begin with special teams of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Delhi or Lucknow are called in.
The timing of the incident raises serious security lapses at Bodhgaya during the peak pilgrimage season, where thousands of pilgrims flock to receive teachings and visit the temple considered the holiest site by Buddhists. Over forty thousand people have been estimated to be present this past few weeks in Bodhgaya, the Mecca for Buddhists.
On Thursday, the exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama who was to oversee a religious ceremony today at the teaching grounds, cancelled the event citing exhaustion.
Earlier on Jan. 3, Thirteen policemen were suspended for negligence, while being on security duty for the the Dalai Lama.
In July 2013, a series of low intensity bomb blasts took place near the Bodh Gaya temple in which three Buddhist priests were injured.