Two Arrested for Bodhgaya Blast During Dalai Lama Visit

As the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is still working on resolving the case of low-intensity explosives blast in Bodhgaya during the visit of Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama in January this year, the NIA has on Friday arrested two more West Bengal residents hiding in a village in Kerala for their alleged role in the blast.

“The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested two West Bengal residents in Kerala for allegedly planting three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya this January, when the Dalai Lama was visiting the Buddhist shrine, officials familiar with the development said.” said the report in Hindustan Times on Sunday.

The initial interrogation with the two suggests that they belonged to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a terrorist outfit active in the border areas of India and Bangladesh. Investigators said the IEDs had been planted as revenge for alleged atrocities committed against Rohingyas in Myanmar according to the report.

“We have arrested Murshidabad resident Abdul Karim and Birbhum native Mustafizur Rehman on charges of placing the IEDs in Bodh Gaya on January 19 this year. They were picked up from one of the Bengali colonies in Malappuram in Kerala. Both the accused are being brought to Patna for a court appearance. We will seek their remand further interrogation,” said a senior NIA official.

Three low-intensity bombs had been planted amid heavy security shield of the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama and one of the bombs had exploded on January 19 evening, following which the two others were discovered before explosion. The first blast was initially mistaken for a fire cracker, police launched combing search of the entire campus in precaution. The two bombs planted were immediately taken to a remote place and diffused later.

“The two people arrested were part of the group of around half-a-dozen JMB men who planted the IEDs. Their associates were involved in the Burdwan incident of 2014, when an accidental blast revealed the presence of a huge JMB network in the border region of Bengal. We have reason to believe that a wanted accused in the Burdwan case is the mastermind of the January Bodh Gaya incident,” said the official, who added that NIA had earlier arrested three other people in the case.

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TJ editor

Editor at Tibetan Journal

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