Week Before R-Day, Two Bombs Found in Bodh Gaya During Security Sweep for Dalai Lama

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Week Before R-Day, Two Bombs Found in Bodh Gaya During Security Sweep for Dalai Lama

The bombs were found near gate no. 4 of Maha Bodhi Temple, police said.

Gaya (Bihar): At least two bombs were found from the Bodh Gaya pilgrimage centre on Friday night following a small explosion-like sound amid stringent security measures in view of the Dalai Lama's stay.

The bombs were found near gate no. 4 of Maha Bodhi Temple, police said. The explosion took place hours after Tibetan spiritual leader had retired for the day. He arrived in Bodh Gaya on January 1 and will be there for almost a month.

Additional forces of Central Reserve Police and Bihar Military Police have been deployed.

Director General Of Police (DGP) PK Thakur told News18, " Dalai Lama will get additional layers of security cover. We were already alert which enabled us to detect and find the explosives. But after this, we have directed to deploy additional forces in the security of spiritual Guru Dalai Lama and Buddhist monasteries."

The explosion had taken place shortly after the Dalai Lama had completed his discourse and retired for the day at the Tibetan monastery, he said.

Gaya Senior Superintendent of Police Garima Mallick told News18 that bombs were safely removed from Kalchakra Maidan, where Dalia Lama takes spiritual lessons during the day and taken away near river Falgu where Bomb disposal squad will defuse it.

Meantime two main roads leading to Bodh Gaya have been blocked and search operations started to find out who brought and planted the explosives.

Additional Jawans of CRPF and BMP have been deployed in and around the Bodhi temple where people from the state and abroad visit in large numbers regularly.

BMP Jawan Ramesh Kumar, who first spotted the bombs, said, "I was patrolling around Kalchakra Maidan. Suddenly my device started giving a signal which suggested some metallic device around it. I asked the sweeper but he had nothing suspicious. Then on the basis of signal strengths of my device, I found a Plate sized thing under a tree. Soon I saw another such thing and informed my seniors. Later we came to know that these are explosives. It was weighing 10 kg each."

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During the operations, an exploded thermos flask was found at the kitchen. This might have caused the sound, police said.

Meanwhile, a team of forensic experts was dispatched to the site of the incident from Patna to ascertain the nature of the explosives found, he said.

A host of VIPs, including Bihar Governor Satya Pal Malik Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Hollywood actor Richard Gere have visited Bodh Gaya recently to receive blessings from the Buddhist monk.

Significantly, in 2013, the Maha Bodhi temple, situated on the spot where Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment, was rocked by a series of explosions in which five people, including two monks, were injured.

(with PTI inputs)