Patna, 8 July
Buddha had “smiled” for the first time in 1974 when India&’s first nuclear test explosion took place at Pokhran, as “Smiling Buddha” was the codename given to the nuclear capability test. Buddha again “smiled” yesterday when the terrorists unhesitatingly used his name, the Buddhists’ yellow robes and, ironically his ‘abode’ as well to target no other than the world heritage Mahabodhi temple where the prince from Lumbini had attained enlightenment centuries ago, sitting under the peepal tree which still remains a mute spectator to a militant&’s nefarious designs.
What forms the basis of their logic is the recovery of one such yellow robe of the Buddhist monk from the Mahabodhi temple premises today. The yellow robe was recovered on the basis of information provided by Vinod Mistry, a tourist guide, who was arrested by police from the Barachatti areas of the Gaya district late last evening. Police, sources said, reached the blast suspect on the basis of his I-Card which was found abandoned at the blast site.
“We have taken into custody one Vinod Mistry on the basis of suspicion. He is being interrogated,” Bihar director general of police Abhayanand told the media but refused to divulge much on the plea that it may impede investigation.
According to officials, 13 bombs were laid in and around the temple to cause maximum damage, of which 10 exploded while three were defused by the bomb disposal squads. “Today&’s investigation has showed that there was one more bomb that exploded taking the number to ten,” said the DGP.
During search operation, the NIA team is also learnt to have stumbled upon some handwritten pamphlets written in Urdu which talks of seeking revenge to strikes on Iraq. It also has words like “Bada Budh” (Big Buddha) and “Bus”. Police suspect the first refer to a big Buddha idol at the main temple and the second a tourist bust which was targeted by the terrorists.