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Bodh Gaya blasts live: UPA government has failed on terror, says BJP

11. 24 am: 'Govt has to set up a comprehensive plan to tackle terror'

BJP President Rajnath Singh condemned the serial blasts in Bodh Gaya on Saturday saying the holy site is of international importance and demanded that the government take the strongest possible action.

"The UPA government has proven to be a failure on this... We demand that the government come up with a comprehensive plan so as to face any challenge, be it any kind of attacks," Singh said.

"The UPA govt has pitted the CBI and IB against each other, these agencies are being misused."

Party leader Arun Jaitley slammed the government saying it has made intelligence agencies an issue of vote bank politics.

"UPA has bartered security issues with votebank politics," Jaitley said.

11. 15 am: Officials from Maharashtra, Andhra ATS to join probe

Officials from the anti-terror squads of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have joined the Bodh Gaya blast probe, NDTV reported on Tuesday.

Officials from these squads will be a part of the five different teams formed by the NIA and Gaya district authorities to investigate the serial blasts case.

10.45 am: Rajnath, Arun Jaitley at Mahabodhi shrine

BJP President Rajnath Singh and senior party leader Arun Jaitley on Tuesday visited the Mahabodhi shrine at Bodh Gaya.

The two leaders will meet authorities to get an understanding of how the blasts occurred. They will also reportedly address the media before leaving back for New Delhi.

10.00 am: Six temple workers absconding, police issue look-out notice

The Bihar Police have issued a look-out notice for six people who were working at the temple but are now absconding.

According to Times Now, CCTV footage examined by the police have shown three people entering the temple at around 2 am on Sunday. The arrived by an auto rickshaw and an Indica car.

While the poor CCTV footage has made it difficult for the police to closely examine the people, the channel reports that the three people first spoke to the security guards at the temple entrance and then spent at least an hour and a half to two inside the temple, before leaving.

The blasts occured at 5.30 am the same morning.

8. 40 am: NIA may take over blast probe

The Bihar Police are yet to find credible leads in Sunday's blasts at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, CNN-IBN reports.

If in the next few days the state police force does not come up with credible leads, it is that the NIA will take over investigations in the case.

8. 15 am: Will bring guilty to book, says Nitish Kumar

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said his government will make all efforts to arrest those responsible for the terror attack. "We have taken the incident "very seriously and will make sure that the culprit is brought to justice," Kumar told reporters.

He further said there was no delay in the response by emergency services. "Every official reached the blast site without any delay," he said.

7. 45 am: Rajnath, Arun Jaitley to visit Bodh Gaya

After slamming its former ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday, BJP President Rajnath Singh and senior party leader Arun Jaitley will visit the Mahabodhi temple on Tuesday, NDTV reports.

Updates for 8 July end

10. 50 pm: NIA detains one in connection with terror attack

One person was detained by the NIA  in connection with the terror attack even as authorities released the CCTV footage of the serial blasts at the historic Mahabodhi temple and adjoining areas.

As a team of investigators from NIA, NSG and other agencies searched for clues in yesterday's 10 serial blasts at Bodh Gaya that left two monks injured, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the state government will make a proposal to the Centre to ask CISF to take over the security of the shrine.

A team of the National Security Guard (NSG), which picked up samples from the area, has sent a preliminary report to the Union Home Ministry, saying the low-intensity bombs worked like improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and were trigerred through analog clock timers.

8.45 pm: Mahabodhi Temple reopens for public

The Bodh Gaya temple, rocked by series of explosions early morning on Sunday leaving two monks injured,was opened for public today with thousands of people standing in queue.

"The visitors are allowed to enter the temple after thorough search by Bihar police and temple management committee security staff," Arvind Singh, member of Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC), said.

Thousands of people thronged to the temple immediately after the gate was open at 6 pm , he said.

PTI

6.40pm: Monks keep business as usual, pray at Mahabodhi

Buddhist monks from 50 countries today held a special prayer inside Bodh Gaya temple for return of peace after 10 explosions that left two injured there.

Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar and other countries participated in the one-hour prayer on Monday evening, said Arvind Singh, member of Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC). Head of monasteries of different countries also attended the prayer.

The Bodh Gaya has Buddhist monasteries of 50 countries.

PTI

6.30pm: Bodh Gaya blasts: Joshi slams Digvijaya for Modi comment

BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi today dismissed Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's suggestion that there may be a connection between Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's call to party workers to teach his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar a lesson and the serial blasts that took place in Bodh Gaya the next day.

"Digvijaya Singh has the habit of seeing things where they are not. The Bodhgaya blasts should be taken seriously. This poses a danger to the cultural and religious ethos of India. It is a serious attack on the country where a place of peace and non-violence has been targeted," Joshi told reporters in New Delhi.

(Read more)

PTI

5.45pm: What is next for the Nitish-NCTC clash?

Bihar Chief Nitish Kumar, who has been so far firmly against the controversial National Counter Terrorism Centre in its present form, may have to change his stand given the terror attack on the Buddhist shrine in Bodh Gaya.

Thronged throughout the year by foreign and Indian religious tourists, the 10 blasts at the World Heritage Site Mahabodhi temple on Sunday, jolted the state government and have urgently sought Central forces for enhanced security cover.

Read more

PTI

5.00pm CPM deplores attack on Mahabodhi Temple

Condemning the blasts at "a venerated place of worship for millions of believers across the world", the CPM Politburo said it was "fortunate that no serious damage was done to the Mahabodhi temple and the Bodhi tree although it is a matter of serious concern that some monks suffered injuries".

While no effort should be spared to identify and nab the culprits responsible for this heinous crime, it was also necessary to probe how the criminals got access to the area "which was supposedly under security cover with police posted on the premises", a CPM statement said.

Read more

PTI

4.47 pm Did Bihar ignore Central alert?

A Central alert was sounded to Bihar on the possible attack on the Buddhist shrine in October 2012 itself.

According to Times Now, which claims to have a copy of the specific alert sent to Bihar government by the Intelligence Bureau, the Centre had held a meeting with the Bihar government and Mahabodhi Temple administration on 3 July this year to strengthen the security of the World Heritage Site.

The channel reported that the Gaya superintendent of police was in fact called to the home ministry in New Delhi on December 2012 and briefed on the possible attack by the Intelligence Bureau and the Delhi Police.

With the steps taken by the Centre on the terror alert, doubts have surfaced if Bihar failed to realise the gravity of the situation.

3.15 pm: Blasts were triggered through analog clock timers: NSG report

A team of the National Security Guard (NSG), which picked up samples from the area, has sent a report to the Union Home Ministry, saying the low-intensity bombs worked like improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and were triggered through analog clock timers.

The NSG post-blast analysis also said that some splinters were put in the ammonium nitrate, sulphur and potassium emulsion for causing damage in various locations in the temple complex. The explosives were packed and kept in small cylinders which are used for commercial purposes. Read more here.


1.35 pm: There were ten bombs that exploded, says Bihar DGP

Bihar DGP Abhayanand said that there were ten bombs that exploded at Bodh Gaya.

"Today's investigation has showed that there was one more bomb that exploded taking the number to ten. The investigation is still on, it is too early to give out more details," he said.

The DGP further said that ammonium nitrate was used in the blasts and the use of other materials is yet to be confirmed.

1.33 pm: Nitish dismisses criticism, says state response was good

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said that the government is taking the Bodh Gaya blasts very seriously, adding that the incident was 'extremely condemnable'. Addressing media on Monday, Kumar however defended his government's reaction to the blasts saying that "no one can assure foolproof security for ever corner of the country. These are the first serial blasts in Bihar". He also said that both he and his officials had acted 'quickly' upon hearing news of the blasts.

"Our response was quick. Information came to me in real quick time", he said. The Bihar government has been criticised on several fronts, because it has emerged that the state government received several warnings that the Mahabodhi temple was a potential terror target for Muslim extremists who were angered by anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar.

Despite these warnings however, the security for the Mahabodhi temple was largely found to be inadequate - an observation made by security experts and backed up by several eye witnesses.

"Senior police & intelligence officials rushed to the spot immediately. We will go to the root and bring the culprits to book", the Bihar Chief Minister said.

He also slammed comments made by the BJP and RJD in Bihar after the blasts. "I was amazed to see the response of RJD, BJP. We must be united to protect Bodh Gaya not politicise it.

1.18 pm: Have asked for CISF security, says Nitish

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addressing  the media a day after the Bodh Gaya blasts, said that he has asked  the centre to provide CISF security for the Mahabodhi temple which was attacked by a series of nine low intensity bombs on Sunday. However he said he was confident that the state government would be able to provide adequate security for the temple until it received CISF cover.

"Not only the security outside the temple but also security inside the premises is being taken over", he said.

12. 40 pm: NSG report submitted to Home Ministry, sources say bombs were not crude

The National Security Guard (NSG) forensic team has submitted the final report on Mahabodhi temple blasts to the Union Home Ministry, reports CNN-IBN.

Sources have said that ammonium nitrate, potassium and sulphur were used as explosives and it would be wrong to call the bombs crude.

They said that the bombs were like any other IED used in the past, the only difference is they used cylinders as containers this time. It is possible that the first blast disturbed the mechanism in the other bombs placed nearby reducing their impact, the sources further added.

12. 15 pm: Mahabodhi temple to re-open for public at 5 pm today

The Mahabodhi temple, which was hit by 9 blasts on Sunday, will open for public at 5 pm this evening after a special prayer, CNN-IBN reported.

12. 00 pm: BJP hits back at Digvijaya, calls him a loose cannon

The BJP has hit back at Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh for his comments on the blasts calling him a loose cannon.

"He is a loose cannon.. he makes bizarre statements.. When same man who called Bin Laden, Osama ji comments on terror, it's laughable," Part spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.

The BJP also asked all states where it does not have a government to be careful of terror attacks.

Singh on Monday slammed the BJP for trying to politicise the blasts at Bodhgaya saying the BJP were in power in Bihar till a few days back.

Singh also questioned the need for media to jump to conclusions based on information from their intelligence sources. "Wait for the NIA to come out with its report before you'll jump to conclusions on the blast," Singh said.

11.00 am: No security lapse, CCTV cameras were working: Bihar Police

Rubbishing media reports which said the CCTV cameras installed at the world renowned religious site were not working, Bihar Police on Monday said there was no security lapse.

"Cameras were on 24 hours... we have all the footage.. there was no seculrity lapse, all security arrangement were in place," Deputy Development Commissioner Giribar Dayal Singh told reporters earlier this morning.

10. 00 am: Police identify make of watch used as timer in blasts

Preliminary forensic analysis of the unexploded bombs have identified the company that made the clock which was used as a timer in the Bodh Gaya blasts.

The analysis also shows that the explosives used in the bombs were a mix of ammonium nitrate, sulphur and potassium.

9. oo am: Mumbai on high alert after Bodh Gaya blasts

Meanwhile, Mumbai has been put on high alert following the blasts. State Home Minister RR Patil has asked police officals to be on high alert. Police sources have told CNN-IBN, that their main focus will be on Buddhist shrines in the city as well as the Sena Bhawan in Dadar.

Police have also hiked security in around 700 locations with high footfalls in the city.

8. 00 am: Have detained a suspect in the case: Bihar Police

Bihar Police on Monday said they have detained a suspect in the case and he is being questioned by investigation officials.

"We have taken a suspect Vinod Mistri into custody. All security arrangements were in place. CCTV cameras were working. Our jawans and the Mandir administration guards were also on duty," the police official said.


7. 00 am: Why blame Muslims, why not Modi, tweets Digvijaya

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has appealed to people to wait until investigations into the Bodh Gaya blasts before jumping to conclusions that there was Muslim involvement. But of course this could not be said without taking a dig at Narendra Modi.

In a series of tweets the Congress leader, in his usual brash fashion asked why there was such a rush to blame Muslims, adding that the flip side to all that speculation was that the blasts happened at the Mahabodhi temple one day after Modi addressed BJP workers and asked them to teach Nitish a lesson. Read more here.

Updates for 7 July end

5.50 pm: Third bomb defused according to reports

The cylinder bomb which was recovered this afternoon from near Royal Residence hotel at Baiju Bigaha village has defused, according to a PTI report.

Earlier this morning, police had recovered a cylinder bomb from Terega monastery and another bomb from near the 80-feet statue of Lord Buddha near the Mahbodhi temple after the serial blasts.

5.45 pm: Gujarat on alert after Bodh Gaya blasts: DGP

An alert has been sounded across Gujarat in the wake of the serial blasts that rocked Mahabodhi
Temple in Bihar's Bodh Gaya district today, Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP) Amitabh Pathak said.  "An alert has been issued across the entire state ahead of the Rathyatra procession on Wednesday and also in the wake of the blasts in Mahabodhi Temple in Bihar. All police units in the state have been alerted," Pathak said.

When asked whether security would be increased across temples and other religious places in the state, he said, "Security is already there. As of now, we don't have any apprehensions and things are under control."

5.15 pm: Sketches of suspects released

According to a report on Zee News, sketches of the two suspected perpetrators involved have been released.

Read the full report here.


5.10 pm: Bodh Gaya had been on radar of Pakistan-based militants: reports

According to a report in the Hindustan Times, Bodh Gaya had been on the terror radar of Pakistan-based militants for some time now.

The report cited police and security officials that the alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives arrested in connection with the failed Pune bombings of August 2012 told interrogators that they had done a recce of the temple locations with the intention of carrying out a suicide attack.

Read the full report here.

5 pm: Tibetan government-in-exile expresses sadness over blasts

The Tibetan government-in-exile Sunday expressed sadness over the series of blasts at the Mahabodhi temple area in Bihar's Bodh Gaya town.

"I am deeply saddened to learn about the series of bomb blasts at Mahabodhi temple. My prayers for the injured and their family members," prime minister-in-exile Lobsang Sangay said in a statement here.

Hundreds of thousands of Buddhist pilgrims from across the world flock to Mahabodhi temple, which stands on the spot where Buddha attained enlightenment.

4.15 pm: Another bomb found near Mahabodhi temple, attempts to defuse on

According to reports on Times Now and CNN IBN, another bomb has been found at a hotel near the Mahabodhi temple. Attempts to defuse the bomb are now on with the bomb disposal squad currently at the location.

4.10 pm: Sushil Kumar Modi criticises state and central governments for ignoring warnings

Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi condemned the terror attack on the world famous Mahabodhi temple and adjoining areas in Bodh Gaya today and assailed both central and state governments for their failure to provide adequate security to the Buddhist shrine.

“We condemn the terror attack on Mahabodhi temple and adjoining areas in no uncertain terms and thank God that there were no casualties in the serial blasts,” he told reporters after visiting the blast sites.

The former Bihar deputy chief minister claimed that no measures were taken to prevent the attack despite intelligence tip off and said the Centre and the state governments cannot escape the responsibility for the nine low-intensity serial blasts.

4.05 pm: Security at Bodh Gaya to be tightened from today, says Bihar police DIG

The DIG of the Bihar police has said on Times Now that the security arrangements at Bodh Gaya are being improved from today onwards. "The two injured are now out of danger," he said. "The evening prayers will carry on without interruption." He also said that the bomb was "a mix between high and low intensity", but said that he would not like conjecture further.

3.35 pm: Two injured are out of danger, says Shinde

Sushil Kumar Shinde speaking at the blasts site to reports said that two live bombs have been defused. "I have spoken to the Home Ministry," he said. "I have asked for the NSG team to carry out the inquiry, and I have also asked for the NIA team to be sent. Two people, Danjeem Dorji and Vilas Saga were injured, but they are not critical and are out of danger."

Shinde also said that a timer had been found which had been set to 5.45 am.

2.50 pm: 'CCTV footage was neither stored nor monitored'

Times Now quoted sources as saying that the problems could be sourced back to poor security and serious flaws in the existing security. "The temple security guards didn't know how to use the security cameras," said the channel's sources. The channel also said that the CCTV footage from earlier was neither stored nor monitored.

1.40 pm: Security beefed up at major temples in Jharkhand

Security has been beefed up at major temples in Jharkhand in the wake of the Bodh Gaya blasts. The temples where security has been stepped up include Deoghar's Shiva temple, Parasnath temple in Giridih, Rajrappa temple in Ramgarh and the temples dedicated to Goddess Deori, Lord Shiva and Jagannath in the state capital Ranchi.

12.50 pm: German bakery blast accused to be questioned

According to a report on India Today, the German bakery blast accused to be questioned on Bodh Gaya terror attack.

"Any effort to destabilise the country and state and bring about communal disturbance should be fought at all levels," said Digvijay Singh to reporters. BJP president Rajnath Singh also raised concerns about the security arrangements that allowed the attacks to happen.

12.32 pm: A security alert has been sounded at the Indo-Nepal border

A security alert has been sounded at the Indo-Nepal border after the Bodh Gaya blasts, according to PTI. District Magistrate K V Pandiyan said police and SSB have been alerted after the terror attack and they have been asked
to maintain a vigil on the border.

He said security has been increased in famous Devipatan and other temples. Nine serial blasts took place inside and outside the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya early this morning in which two monks were injured.

12.24 pm: Nitish Kumar condemns attacks, says NIA team will reach by 2pm

Nitish Kumar condemned the attacks after he reached the site today. "We are making arrangements for security," said Kumar. "CCTV cameras have been put in the temple, but we will review the security again. The NIA team will reach here by 2pm."

11.50 am: MHA issues advisories to eight cities

According to a flash on IBNLive, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued advisories to eight cities.

11.30 am: Nitish Kumar reaches Bodh Gaya

Nitish Kumar has reached Bodh Gaya, according to reports on Times Now. The chief minister & other officers have gone to Bodh Gaya, says Sharad Yadav, and the Bomb Disposal Squad is already there. "I strongly condemn this attack on Lord Buddha's place,who was a preacher of peace," said Yadav.

President Pranab Mukherjee expressed anguish over the Bodh Gaya blasts, terms it as a "senseless act of violence".

10.55 am: No terrorist outfit has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet, says RPN Singh

RPN Singh, Ministry of State of the Home Ministry spoke to Times Now, and said that no statements could be made till the investigation was done. "The DGP should have reached the spot by now, and we will investigate any possible lapses," he said. "Till the investigations are over we would not like to make any statement. It does seem like a terror attack but we cannot give any details till the investigation is done. If there were any shortcomings in following up IB alerts, it will be looked into as a part of the investigation. No terrorist outfit has claimed responsibility yet."

10.45 am: NSG bomb squad is on its way to evaluate situation, says Home Secretary

Home Secretary Anil Goswani, speaking to reporters in Delhi, said that the NSG bomb squad is on the way to the spot to evaluate the situation. "As per reports received from the DGP Bihar, blasts took place between 5.30 am and 6am," said Goswami. "Bihar DGP and the NSG team will carry out a post-blast analysis and the NIA investigating team is enroute to Bodhgaya." Goswami said that the temple complex structure hasn't suffered any damage. The monastry and the statue of Lord Buddha are also safe.

10.35 am: Jihadist groups have been threatening violence against Buddhist targets for over a year

According to Praveen Swami, Firstpost editor, jihadist groups have been threatening violence against Buddhist targets for over a year now. In July 2012, one year ago, the al-Qaeda linked Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan threatened to carry out attacks against Buddhists in retaliation for the communal violence in Myanmar. In June, this year Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed publicly charged India with helping Burma “wipe out [the] Muslim population”.

(Read Praveen Swamy's full report here)

10.30 am: Site investigators say attack looks 'sophisticated', was synchronised with timers

According to Firstpost editor Praveen Swamy, the first impressions of investigators at the site, according to police sources, is that the bombs were likely made from commercially-available substances like ammonium nitrate or potassium permanganate.

Though such substances are technically classified as not as highly explosive as military-grade explosives as PETN or Semtex, they are widely available, and can be made into widely used by a range of terrorist organisations across the world.

The fact that the attackers were able to use multiple IEDs, with timers that synchronised the explosions, suggests a substantial degree of sophistication.  It is entirely possible that humidity or manufacturing defects may have mitigated the explosive force of the IEDs—exactly this happened with similar devices placed on Mumbai’s Crawford Road last year. Experts from the National Investigations Agency and National Security Guard will study the bomb residue, but it could be some days before results are available.

(Read Praveen Swamy's full piece here)

10.28 am: Sri Lankan president "shocked and dismayed" by Bodhgaya blasts

 Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa was today shocked and dismayed by the news of serial explosions in internationally renowned Mahabodhi temple in India, a place of religious significance for the Buddhists.

"President Rajapaksa was shocked and dismayed by the news," Presidential Media Coordinator Wijayananda Herath said. The official said the President had spoken to the chief incumbent of the Mahabodhi temple and also directed both the external affairs ministry and the High Commission in Delhi to probe and report to him.

10.25 am: Dalai Lama aide condemns the incident, regrets need for security at religious spots

Tempa Tsering, a Dalai Lama aide spoke to Times Now condemning the incident. "It's very unfortunate, actually there should be no need for security in a religious place," he pointed out. "But this kind of incident in a religious place happening, means that these places need to be secured. There is a lot of concern for tourists and visitors who come to Bodhgaya. Whoever carried out this will hopefully shun this kind of activity."

10.10 am: High-level meeting on in Home Ministry

According to reports on Times Now, there is a high-level meeting underway in the Home Ministry. It is being chaired by the Home Secretary and is taking place in the north block.

10.05 am: Lalu and BJP exchange slings over law and order situation in state

Times Now also spoke to Rajiv Pratap Rudy, the BJP spokesperson, who placed the blame squarely on the Nitish government which he accused of participating in "appeasement politics" rather than taking care of law and order. "This was a low-intensity but professional blast...Since the BJP has gone out of power, the law and order situation has gone back to the Lalu days," asserted Rudy. "The central government is also ineffective."

Lalu, on the other hand, also condemned the state government. "Internationally, this is a very important spot...and this has send a very wrong message to the international community. We strongly condemn the act of violence on a spot which represents peace and non-violence...What was the state government doing? What did the IB do after the report?

10.00 am: Bodh Gaya blasts a terror attack says Union Home Secy

Meanwhile union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said that the blasts were indeed a terror attack.

Meanwhile the latest reports from Bodh Gaya indicate that some Burmese and Tibetan monks have been injured in the Bodh Gaya blasts. No further information was immediately available.

The additional DIG of Bihar has meanwhile admitted that terror warnings were received six months back, but blamed the private security organisations in charge of protecting the Mahabodhi temple for allowing the blasts to happen.

9.53 am: Nothing was done despite terror warnings, says BJP Gaya MLA

Hari Manjhi, BJP MP from Gaya has slammed the state government for inaction, saying that despite receiving warnings of a terrorist attack, no action was taken and 'only numerous meetings' were held. "This is the first time such an incident has taken place in Bodh Gaya", he said, adding that four blasts took place at the Mahabodhi temple complex, and another four took place in the monastery.

9.45 am: MHA seeks report on Bodh Gaya blasts

The Ministry of Home Affairs has sought a report on the Bodh Gaya blasts from state security organisations. This comes even as reports emerge that there had been numerous warnings that a terror strike would be attempted in the area.

Meanwhile Times Now quoted sources as saying that the role of the Indian Mujahideen was being probed.

9.20 am BJP reacts to the blasts, says terrorism needs to be taken seriously

Ravi Shankar Prasad, "If there were intelligence reports about a possible terror attack, then why was no action taken. Those who are trying to control the Intelligence Bureau for vote-bank should think about this."

"It's disturbing that such an important temple site was attacked. This temple is an important site for the whole nation." he said.

Prakash Javadekar also reacts to the Bodh Gaya blasts. Says both Centre and the state government should taken stern steps to ensure that this such acts are not reports. "BJP condemns the dastardly attacks," he said.

"Central agencies had warned about the intelligence attacks, both agencies have to step up. If something that is happening in Myanmar is getting reflected in Bodh Gaya, this needs to be investigated," Javadekar said.

9.10 am: Sri Lankan President expresses concern

The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has expressed concern over the attack. Bodh Gaya is a popular tourist destination for Sri Lankans and the President had himself visit the temple complex in February this year.

8.45 am: Blasts took place at about 5.40 am

PTI has reported that while four serial blasts took place inside the Mahabodhi Temple complex at about 5:40 AM, three blasts took place at the Terega Monastery. The eighth blast took place near the famous 80-foot statue of Lord Buddha.

DIG Nayyar Husnain Khan said, "The sanctum sanctorum of the Mahabodhi Temple is intact. The identity of the injured monks is yet to be ascertained. They have been rushed to the Magadh hospital for treatment.

It seems intelligence agencies had tipped off the state government about the possible threat to the Mahabodhi Temple. The state government and district authorities had beefed up security measures following the warning, police sources told PTI.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has reached the spot.

8.30 am: Blast was of high-intensity say eye witnesses 

According a monk who saw the blasts take place said that they were of high intensity. He told CNN-IBN that, "The blast took place behind the Bodhi tree and the place where we distribute lamps. The attack was of high intensity."

Another witness who was injured in the attack told, "I was moving around panch karma when the blast happened. I heard a loud noise. I got injured in my leg." 

Meanwhile the City SP for Bodh Gaya Chandan Kushwaha has said that for now three low intensity blasts have been confirmed while two live bombs have been recovered.

The shrine in the temple has not been damaged, he added.

8.00 am: 9 bomb blasts reported from Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar

According to news reports, 8 bomb explosions have taken place at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, Bihar. This is a key religious site for Buddhists as this where Lord Buddha is believed to have gained enlightenment.

CNN-IBN has reported that 8 explosions took place while one live bomb was recovered from the site.  The blasts took place inside the temple complex. The initial reports suggest that crude bombs were used in the attack.  The report also adds that 5 people are believed to have been injured and one of them is seriously injured.

PTI had reported that 2 monks were also injured.

Reuters

The Buddha statue in the temple. Reuters

The explosions have raised the question of whether this was a terror attack. While an NIA (National Investigative Agency) team is leaving for Bodh Gaya to gather forensic evidence, the government has not yet called it a terror attack.

The Mahabodhi temple is about 2500 years old.

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