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NIA takes suspects to blast sites

Gaya, June 20: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), probing the July 7 Bodhgaya serial blasts, arrived in the town with terrorists Haidar Ali and Muzibullah Ansari late on Thursday evening.

The sleuths took the terrorists to the blast sites on Friday morning and interrogated them. Haidar of Madanpur in Aurangabad district is considered the mastermind of the blasts. The NIA has taken the two on a 12-day remand.

During interrogation, Haidar revealed that he had planned to trigger blasts in Bodhgaya at least six months in advance and he had undertaken a recc of the sites. There was plan to trigger blasts inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Mahavihara and also near the roots of the sacred Bodhi tree to cause maximum damage.

According to information, Haidar arrived in Bodhgaya with the bombs from Ranchi by bus. He alighted at Domuhan, around 3km west of the Mahavihara. From there, he walked on foot up to Bodhgaya. With the help of four associates, he planted bombs at Tergar monastery, a tourist bus, at the 80ft tall Buddha statue (around 1.5km northwest of the Mahavihara).

The terrorists entered the Mahavihara campus between 2.30am and 3am on July 7 from the butter lamp house end. On the campus, they planted bombs near Tara Devi temple, the Bodhi tree, in the ambulance stranded near butter lamp house and near the Kubera stupa on the northern part. Because of the presence of some women devotees, the terrorists could not plant bombs inside the sanctum sanctorum and under the Bodhi tree. After planting the bombs, the terrorists came out of the campus through the main gate.