Bombers targeted giant Buddha idol in India: Police

Indian police claim the attacks are act of revenge for Buddhist violence against Muslims in Myanmar.

Afp July 09, 2013
In this photograph taken on July 7, 2013, Indian bomb disposal personnel recover an unexploded bomb from the great statue of Lord Buddha following eight low-intensity serial blasts at The Bodh Gaya Temple Complex in Bodh Gaya. PHOTO: AFP

PATNA: Attackers who staged serial blasts at one of Buddhism's holiest sites this week also placed a bomb on a giant stone-carved idol of the Buddha that did not explode, police said Tuesday.

Ten small devices went off early Sunday in the Bodh Gaya temple complex in eastern Bihar state, wounding two monks, while three others were defused before they could explode in the historic shrine.

Police and temple managers said Tuesday that an explosive device had also been fixed almost half way up the 80-foot (24-metre) Buddha idol at the complex, which was built in 1981 with Japanese funding.

"The bomb was defused by experts," senior local police officer Chandan Kushwaha told AFP.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but police in the capital said they had received intelligence that Islamic militants could target the site as revenge for Buddhist violence against Muslims in neighbouring Myanmar.

Along with temples, dozens of monasteries housing monks from around the world dot the Bodh Gaya complex, which is said to be the site where the Buddha reached enlightenment in 531 BC.

The centrepiece of the complex is the site of the holy Bodhi tree, under which Buddha is said to have meditated. A sapling of the original tree was unharmed in the attacks on Sunday.

Police are studying CCTV footage and they have arrested a man for questioning over the attacks, which happened shortly after sunrise on Sunday.

Buddhists are rarely targeted in India but there have been tensions in the wider region recently following clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

In March 2001, the Taliban destroyed monumental Buddha idols carved into a hill in Bamiyan province of Afghanistan.


khoka | 10 years ago | Reply

@Milind: we both are third world low income and over populated countries ..lets stop arguing like first world citizens so forget about the gloves or a uniform we are countries of cheap labour lol

np | 10 years ago | Reply @Aschraful Makhlooq: Babri structure was not a mosque since no worship had been condiucted there for over 100 years. Why because there was a dispute. You may not be aware that Babar had destroyed a temple that the Hindus considered sacred and built a mosque on that same site. The dispute was from the time that British were ruling and from that time no namaaz had been performed there.. This still does not justify destruction of the structure. But it was an isolated incident and happened more than 20 years back and people in India still talk about it because it was not a good thing. In Pakistan just last year one temple was razed to ground, 3 churches were destroyed and I don't know how many mosques and imambargahs suffered suicide attacks and the matter is forgotten the nxt day.
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