| The site at Mahabodhi Mahavihara where one of the bombs went off |
Alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Haider Ali had entered Mahabodhi Mahavihara in Bodhgaya in the garb of a monk to hoodwink security personnel on July 7 last year, investigations have revealed.
After entering the heritage site, Ali had directed his men where to plant the bombs. Nine bombs went off on July 7. Two Buddhist monks had suffered injuries in the explosions at the pilgrimage site.
The matter came to the fore during interrogation of Haider, alias Black Beauty, a native of Aurangabad’s Khirayawan village.
A team of forensic experts on Saturday collected blood samples of Ali, whose name also figured in the Patna serial blasts in which eight persons were killed and over 80 others were injured.
An investigating officer said: “The blood samples have been collected for DNA test. The blood samples would be matched with that of the robes (monk’s dress) to ascertain Ali’s role in the Bodhgaya blasts. The robes were found on the premises of the Mahavihara on the day of the blasts.”
Ali, the investigating officers claimed, is an important link between the top functionary of the Indian Mujahideen and the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (Simi).
Ali (26), along with three other suspects in Patna explosions — Taufiq Ansari, Numan Ansari and Mujibullah — were taken on two weeks’ police remand by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday. The four suspects were earlier arrested during a joint operation of the NIA and the Jharkhand police from Ranchi and Palamu.
Ali was assigned to recruit youths from Bihar and Jharkhand to constitute the Ranchi module of the IM, which was assigned to carry out attacks across the country. Ali, son of a polio victim and roadside tailor, Mohammad Alam Ansari, lived in penury before he came in contact with the banned terror outfit in 2006.
“Since my father used to earn anything between Rs 50 and Rs 60 per day, it was hard for him to spend money on my education,” Ali told the interrogators. On Patna’s serial blasts, Ali reportedly told the interrogators that he had received Rs 55,000 in cash for carrying out the attack during the BJP’s Hunkar Rally on October 27, 2013.
“We all reached Patna from Ranchi by a private bus and planted the bombs well before the rally. However, one of the bombs went off at Patna Junction, which alerted the cops and Imtiyaz was caught. Another member Enul suffered fatal injuries in the explosion,” he told interrogators.
Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj said: “We have gathered information from the arrested suspects about the serial blasts at Gandhi Maidan. We will soon submit chargesheet against them separately in the case.”
So far, eight suspects have been arrested in connection with the Patna serial blasts.