Gaya: Nine serial explosions today rocked the internationally renowned temple town of Bodh Gaya, including four in the Mahabodhi Temple complex, injuring two monks in the blasts suspected to be engineered by some terrorist organisation.
The Mahabodhi Temple is frequented by Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka, China and Japan and the whole of southeast Asia.
While four blasts took place this morning inside the Mahabodhi Temple complex, three occurred in Karmapa monastery, one each near near the 80-ft Buddha statue and at the bus stand near bypass, DIG Magadh range Nayyer Hussnain Khan told PTI.
The blasts took place between 5:30 to 5:58 AM, he said.
Arvind Singh, a member of Mahabodhi Temple Management Commitee said the two injured included a national of Myanmar and another of Tibet. They have been admitted to Magadh Medical College and Hospital, he said.
Singh said two other bombs, one near the 80 feet statue and one at bus stand have been defused.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) S K Bhardwaj said prima facie it seems the serial blasts have been done by some terrorist organisation.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and DGP Abhyanand have left for Bodh Gaya by road.
Gaya is a Maoist stronghold.
"A team of NIA officers is coming to Bodh Gaya from Kolkata."
The ADG said that there was a general alert about possibility of terrorist attacks in Bihar and the state police have tightened security.
"At Bodh Gaya temple, the police security arrangements are only outside the temple while the security inside is looked after by temple trust officials," he said.
The DIG said, "The sanctum sanctorum of the Mahabodhi Temple is intact. The temple premises have been sanitised."
The secretary of the Bodh Gaya committee Dorji said, "There were four blasts inside the temple premises. Fortunately, there was no damage to the Bodhi Tree or the main temple structure."
"In the first blast which took place near the Bodhi tree, a table was blown up because of which two persons were injured. The second blast, I think, was inside the enclosure where books were kept. The furniture was damaged but there was no damage to the monuments or statues," he said.
Asked about the nature of explosives used, S K Bharadwaj, ADG (Law and Order) said they were low intensity time bombs.
He said, "We got information about six-seven months back that there may be a terror attack on the Mahabodhi temple. After that we had beefed up secuirty and deployed extra forces".
Bodh Gaya Buddhist temple, around 10 km from Gaya and 100 km from capital Patna, is world famous. Lord Buddha had attained enlightenment here under the Mahabodhi tree in the temple premises.
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama makes frequent trips to Bodh Gaya and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had visited it six months back. A total of 52 countries have established their monasteries here.