Investigators probing the serial blasts in and around Bodh Gaya temple, detained four more people including a woman for suspicious movement and were being questioned while the CCTV footage of the terror attack has not thrown up any leads.
Two days after the 10 multiple coordinated explosions, the four people were picked up by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Patna after police claimed they had checked out of a hotel near the Mahabodhi temple complex at about 6.30 AM, just about two hours after they checked in on the day of the attack. No arrests have been made in the case yet.
The first blast took place at the temple at about 5.30 AM followed by nine successive explosions in a near simultaneous operation for which no group has claimed responsibility.
A police officer said the four people were picked up in the Bihar capital and being questioned at an unknown location there. The identity of the four were immediately not known.
Police said that Binod Kumar Mistri, who has been detained by the NIA on the basis of his voter I-card found inside the temple during search after the Sunday explosions, continued to remain under custody.
Police, however, were not able to ascertain his role, if any, in the attack on Buddhism’s holiest shrine.
Union Home Ministry officials said the probe into the multiple blasts will be handed over to the NIA.
A formal order entrusting the NIA with the investigation will be issued very soon, the officials said in New Delhi.
Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) member Arvind Singh said CRPF and Bihar Military Police (BMP) have taken over charge of security at the historic temple. BTMC private security guards are assisting them inside the temple.
Visitors are allowed inside the temple only after proper frisking, he said. The BTMC member said that there is no let up in enthusiasm of visitors to the temple.
With no leads coming from the footage from 15 CCTV cameras that the investigators are poring through, police suspect it is possible that the attackers may have evaded those cameras.
The footage is also stated to be of poor quality making it difficult to capture the images of people caught on the cameras.
The Gaya district administration also imposed restrictions around the Mahabodhi temple under Section 144 CrPC and ordered several shopkeepers in the area to close down.
The preliminary probe has found a timer device and traces of ammonium nitrate similar to that used by modules of banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) in some previous attacks in the country.
A senior police officer on condition of anonymity said the NIA team has been perusing details of calls being made from Bodh Gaya to outside from the night 6th July, the day before the serial blasts.
It has been found that maximum calls and SMSes have been made from two mobile phones to Delhi and elsewhere from the Buddhist temple area, he said.
The NIA team is going through the details of the two mobiles, he added.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is scheduled to visit Bodh Gaya.