Patna: Security forces have averted a potential disaster in the Buddhist pilgrimage town of Bodh Gaya, in Bihar, after defusing a powerful bomb planted by militants.
The bomb was one of a number planted ahead of the Buddhists’ congregation in January this year, apparently to cause major damage and loss of life.
Fortunately another of the bombs planted exploded prematurely and the entire plot came to light. A huge number of Buddhists and tourists had gathered in the town to hear discourses from Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama at that time.
Had all the bombs exploded as per the militants’ plans, this would have caused a major loss of life since the place was teeming with millions of foreigners and Indian citizens at that time.
The recovery of the bomb comes after security agencies probing the January blast nabbed a suspected militant, identified as Dilawar Hussain, alias Umar, involved in planting the bombs.
Acting on his information, the security forces brought the suspect to Bodh Gaya on Saturday and unlocked a lavatory near the Kalchakra Ground — the place where the Dalai Lama was giving lectures.
Investigators were surprised to see the live bomb, wrapped in plastic, still lying there and safely recovered the explosive.
The bomb disposal squad was called in to defuse the recovered bomb.
Meanwhile, police have bolstered security in the Buddhist town in the aftermath of the discovery of bomb and more raids are being conducted, a police official said, refusing to divulge more details.
As per reports, the militants had planted a total of four bombs in different corners of Bodh Gaya in January.
Of these, one bomb exploded whereas two bombs were recovered during the search operation while another could not be found out.
The explosion had taken place near a kitchen set up at the Kaalchintan ground and this happened shortly after the Dalai Lama had completed his discourse and retired for the day at the Tibetan monastery.
Bodh Gaya where Buddha is said to have received enlightenment in the 6th century BC, is considered the most revered land for Buddhists across the globe.
Millions of Buddhists and tourists arrive every year to offer prayers at the temple.