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Bodh Gaya blasts a proof of lax security: Analysts
In the wee hours on Sunday, ten low intensity blasts rocked Bodh Gaya temple complex, a place where Lord Buddha received enlightenment. The place located in Gaya district of Bihar is a religious site and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex. Luckily, the blasts did not cause any major loss either to human life or to the temple. The two people who got injured were temple monks.

The blast was successful in spreading the panic among the state government, central government, tourists and locals. Sri Lanka, hub of Buddhism, while condemning the attack has advised its citizens to defer their Bodh Gaya visit by at least one week. The state government has demanded CISF security for the temple complex and the central government has ordered tight vigil across all the religious and tourist hot spots in the country.

A five-member National Investigation team (NIA) team from Delhi, which comprises a DIG and two SPs, has started investigations at the Mahabodhi temple complex. As per the latest reports, NIA has detained one person for interrogation in connection with the blasts. The CCTV footage shows at least five people involved in planting the bombs. There are reports that say Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives might have been behind the blast.

In October 2012, alleged IM operatives Syed Maqbool, Asad Khan, Langde Irfan and Imran Khan, who had been arrested by Delhi Police special cell, had reportedly disclosed during interrogation in Dilsukhnagar blasts case that Buddhist temples in Bodh Gaya were reconnoitered by them on instructions from Pakistan-based IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal, The Times of India reported.

Soon after this revelation, the special cell had sent an intelligence input in October itself to Bihar's director general of police and the superintendent of police in Gaya district about a possible terror strike on Mahabodhi temple in their bid to internationalize their relevance.

The important question that surfaces here is whether the state governments ignore the prior warnings about possibility of terror attacks?

Security and strategic affairs analyst Alok Bansal feels that the state machineries are not able to understand, scan and evaluate security related information.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that no one can assure foolproof security for any corner of the country. He added that the state police was protecting the temple efficiently. If he was right about the alertness of his police against any possible terror strike, then how was it possible that terrorists sneaked into the temple premises and successfully planted not one but 13 bombs and that too without being noticed by the security personnel.

Contrary to the claims made the by Bihar CM, Bansal said that what happened in Bodh Gaya clearly indicates that there were loop holes in security cover of the Mahabodhi temple.

“Absolutely there is no way that these blasts can take place if the police were fully alert. As you see the clippings that are coming on TV cameras etc., if there was somebody live monitoring these TV cameras (CCTV) himself he could see, because in some clippings I can see the people who were trying to cover their faces, that itself should have aroused the suspicion,” Bansal told this citizen journalist .

He added that in the case of Bodh Gaya, the information was quite specific and the authorities should have had anticipated any such incident.

“In this case, I think the information was quite specific and if anybody who has been watching developments across the globe and the manner in which incidents had been taking place in Myanmar and Sri Lanka and its reaction in many Islamic countries, something like this should have been anticipated and the security establishments should have been prepared for it,” said Bansal.

The blasts in Hyderabad and Bodh Gaya have proved that arrested IM operatives had spilled credible information in October last year. Based on it, IM's next terror target could be places in Delhi and Mumbai. The arrested terrorists had conducted reconnaissance at Delhi's Sadar Bazar and Chandni Chowk.

In Mumbai they had receed McDonald's eatery at Andheri station, sari shops and fast food joints near Santa Cruz station, Dadar bus stop, CST station and Panvel station apart from spots in Bandra and Jogeshwari as all these places attract large crowds.

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