A National Investigation Agency team on Sunday picked up three suspects in last July’s serial blasts at the Mahabodhi Mahavihara in Bodhgaya from Maoist-hit Arwal district near Patna.
The NIA team raided Abgilla village in Arwal district early on Sunday and took Irfan, Ranjan and Rajnandan into custody. The team took Irfan to an unknown destination while letting off the other two after preliminary questioning.
A senior NIA official said the three were quizzed following inputs by some Simi (Students Islamic movement of India) men arrested earlier from Raipur in Chhattisgarh. They were allegedly in touch with Haider Ali alias Abdullah, who masterminded the blasts.
Sources said the NIA is trying to find the source that supplied explosives to the Indian Mujahideen’s Ranchi module for the attack.
Haider, absconding since last October’s Patna blasts, is a resident of Khiriawan village in Aurangabad district, close to Arwal.
He carries a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head. The agency didn’t rule out the possibility of Maoists supplying the explosives. “The Maoist link with the IM, if any, is being verified,” a senior investigating officer said.
He said NIA was also probing the claims of an Indian wing of global terror outfit al-Qaida.
“Almost a month after the Bodhgaya blasts, the Patna office of Press Information Bureau received a letter, which cited the name of Jamat Al Tawhid wal-Qisas (the organisation of monotheism and retaliation). They allegedly carried out the attack over atrocities against Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslims,” he said.