Bodh Gaya blast: Two JMB members arrested in West Bengal for plotting terror strikes during Dalai Lama's India visit

The Kolkata Police has arrested two members of banned terror outfit Jamat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in connection with a low-intensity blast that hit Bihar's Bodh Gaya on 19 January. The blast took place when Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama was in the temple town.

A low-intensity blast was reported at a kitchen set up at the Kaalchintan Ground in Gaya, causing panic among the devotees who had gathered to hear the Dalai Lama's discourse. It took place shortly after the Dalai Lama completed his discourse and retired for the day at the Tibetan monastery.

Security personnel at the Patliputra Karuna Stupa after two crude bombs were found on 19 January. PTI

Security personnel at the Patliputra Karuna Stupa after two crude bombs were found on 19 January. PTI

Shortly after this, two more bombs were recovered from the pilgrimage centre. The two bombs, which turned out to be of high intensity, were deactivated two days later at a secluded spot by the bomb disposal squad of National Security Guard (NSG).

A report on India Today said 50 kilogrammes of ammonium nitrate explosives were recovered from the two agents who were arrested from Murshidabad and Darjeeling respectively. The report quoted Kolkata Police officials as saying the duo was planning to plant improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Bodh Gaya to coincide with Dalai Lama's visit to the holy site.

The arrested accused will be produced before the Bankshal Court in Kolkata and the police will seek their custody for further interrogation, the report added.

The two have been identified as 24-year-year-old Paigamber Sheikh and 31-year-old Jamirul Sheikh, a report on The Indian Express said. "Apart from 50 kilogrammes of explosive Ammonium Nitrate, one laptop and other materials used to make explosives have been recovered. In primary interrogation, the two accused revealed their links with the group that had planted IED at Bodh Gaya during Dalai Lama's visit," Murlidhar Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (STF), was quoted as saying by the report.

The officials added that Paigamber is a resident of Murshidabad, and he was arrested from Kankuria Gram in Murshidabad on Wednesday after the police conducted a raid at his residence.

Jamirul, also a resident of Murshidabad, was nabbed from Phansideva in Darjeeling on Wednesday. "The two accused were arrested with the help of Murshidabad, Siliguri and Darjeeling Police," Sharma added.

Meanwhile, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar promised strict action against the accused. "Agencies of the Centre and the state areinvestigating the planting of bombs. The guilty will be found out and given stern punishment. They will not be spared," Nitish said, while inaugurating the 'Bauddh Mahotsav' on Thursday, at the Kaalchakra Maidan, the same venue where the two bombs were found.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Feb 02, 2018 08:38 AM

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