Bodh Gaya blasts probe to be speeded up

    By IANS,

    Patna : National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief Sharad Kumar has directed that the probe into the blasts at Bodh Gaya’s Mahabodhi temple be speeded up after no headway was made even 50 days after the incident, a police officer said Friday.

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    Sharad Kumar, who visited the temple Thursday and met top officials of Bihar Friday, said that NIA would come out with a solid clue in the terror incident soon.

    “Sharad Kumar asked the NIA officials as well as state police to…speed up the probe,” a police official said.

    Kumar is on two day visit to Bihar, his first after the serial bomb explosions at Bodh Gaya temple on July 7.

    His visit coincided with the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, Indian Mujahideen co-founder wanted for a string of bombings, and another suspected terrorist Asadullah Akhtar from India-Nepal border at Raxaul in Bihar’s East Champaran district Thursday.

    According to police officers in Bodh Gaya, about 110 km from here, the NIA chief also held a meeting with the officials probing the blasts.

    “He told them to keep a close eye over the role of both left (wing) and right (wing) extremists groups in the explosions,” officials said.

    Ten bombs exploded in Bodh Gaya in which two Buddhist monks were injured. Three live bombs were recovered and defused.

    “NIA team is studying the hundreds of mobile phone calls made from the temple premises and adjacent localities before and after the serial bomb explosions,” a district police official said.

    The NIA team is taking help of data available with mobilephone towers.

    According to district police officials, the NIA team is camping in Bodh Gaya for last few days to trace the active mobile phones July 6 night and early July 7.

    “The NIA officials are also trying to identify suspected SIM card holders and from where they were issued,” police said.

    Two suspects from Darbhanga district have been detained in connection with the blasts.

    Earlier, sketches of five suspects in the July 7 serial bomb explosions were released.

    NIA investigators have questioned some local people, including officials of the temple management and shopkeepers.

    A special court has been established in the Patna civil court to hear the serial bombings case, said an official who is assisting the NIA’s probe.

    Maoists have denied involvement in the blasts. Bihar Police officers had suspected their role in the bombings.

    The NIA initially detained six people but released them after questioning.