Day after terror attack, prayers for peace at Bodh Gaya

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Bodh Gaya:  Thirty six hours after multiple blasts rocked the Mahabodhi temple, a heritage site in Bihar's Bodh Gaya, it was re-opened to the public and special prayers for peace were held by hundreds of Buddhist monks. (Read: Latest developments)

Investigators are, however, yet to get clear leads on who was behind the series of explosions on early Sunday morning, which left two monks injured.

They are studying CCTV footage from about 15 cameras installed in the temple and released footage of an explosion near the Bodhi tree. They have also detained a man called Vinod Mistry, whose identity card was found at the blasts site, and are questioning him. Mr Mistry has, however, reportedly claimed that he had lost his identity card a few days ago.

There were 10 blasts at the temple and not nine as was earlier reported, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shide said today. Three live bombs were found and were defused. An analysis of the bombs as allegedly revealed similarities between the Bodh Gaya explosions and the deadly blasts in Jaipur in 2008 and Pune in 2012, in which the police suspect the hand of terror group Indian Mujahideen. But investigators warn that more evidence is needed before drawing conclusions.

Clocks were used to trigger the blasts yesterday and all bombs were timed to explode at 5.30 am. The investigators are trying to work out why that time was chosen as activity inside the temple is minimal then. The unexploded bombs had Urdu markings on them.

The bombs were strategically placed, one was even planted at a height of 20 feet on a Buddha statue, for which a ladder would have been needed, the police said. But no one saw a ladder being brought into the temple premises. (Read)

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, criticised for not having secured the temple adequately despite an intelligence report in October last year that it could be attacked, has requested the Centre to take over security at the heritage site. "We are requesting the central government to give the responsibility of the security arrangements of the temple to the Central Industrial Security Force or CISF", Mr Kumar said. (Read: Politics over blasts - It's BJP vs Nitish, Digvijaya)

Mr Kumar accused the BJP, which was a partner in his government till last month, and rival Lalu Prasad's RJD of colluding to politicise the Bodh Gaya blasts. The two parties had called for a bandh or shut down in the region.

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