Bombs found at Mahabodhi Temple premises in Bodh Gaya amid Dalai Lama visit

Two cane bombs of a size of 10 kg each were found on the Mahabodhi Temple premises in Bodh Gaya late last evening. A report in The Hindu said the bombs were found near the Gate number 4.

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has taken over the security of the Temple and were securing the area. This was a cause of major security concerns as Tibetian spiritual guru Dalai Lama is currently visiting the temple on the occasion of the month-long Kalachakra puja of Buddhist pilgrims. The spiritual leader had just finished a sermon and retired to his living quarters when the bombs were found.

The Governor of Bihar Satya Pal Malik was also present at the temple on Friday.

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Security threats to the temple have always been a cause of great concern. Opindia.com had reported in September 2017 that security of the temple has been increased after repeated terrorist threats were detected by both state and central intelligence agencies.

The temple has also been the target of terrorist attacks earlier in July 2013 when a series of low-intensity blasts left 5 people injured, including two monks. The later arrested suspect Mohammad Umair Siddiqui had revealed that the blasts were intended to target international Buddhist tourists as a “revenge” for the alleged killings of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

Siddiqui, a member of the banned SIMI and Indian Mujahideen organisations, had also revealed during the interrogation that the terrorists involved in bombing the Bodh Gaya temple later went on to target an election rally of Narendra Modi at Patna in October 2013, where six people were killed and many injured.

The  Mahabodhi Temple is one of the most revered shrines in Buddhism and is visited by millions of Hindu and Buddhist tourists every year. As the place where Buddha attained his enlightenment, the temple holds immense spiritual importance worldwide. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and threats to its security are of grave concern for the governments.

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