Eight blasts rocked the Bodh Gaya temple in the south of Gaya district in the state of Bihar between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Sunday, July 7, 2013. Two live bombs were also recovered at the blast site. One man was detained not long after the bombings, and five more suspects were picked up by the Indian national investigation agency on July 9.
Security experts say that the explosive devises could have been made from ammonium nitrate or potassium permanganate, both of which are widely available and are commonly used in bomb-making.
The disaster has been heavily politicized. The Bharatiya Janata Party called for a statewide strike the day after the blasts protesting the government's failure to fight terrorism. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee suggested that the violent acts were a “game plan before elections to disturb states, regional parties and also to plan to murder some political leaders”.
The attack was condemned by Buddhists in India and its neighboring countries. The temple is one of the four main pilgrimage sites of the Buddhists.
Sri Lankan-Canadian journalist and blogger D. B. S. Jeyaraj compiled Buddhist majority Sri Lanka's reactions. He reminded that there has been a historic connection between the Mahabodhi and Sri Lanka so they are also concerned:
With the advent of Turkish rule in the 13th century the Mahabodhi temple fell into a state of neglect and was virtually in ruins.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Sri Lanka’s Anagarika Dharmapala the devout Buddhist revivalist began reclaiming the Mahabodhi Temple for Buddhists.
Subhash Gatade at Kafila blog suggested that one should look beyond the usual suspects:
One expects added caution on part of any of the experts / commentators for another important reason as well. It has been widely reported how in two of our neighbouring countries – namely Burma and Sri Lanka – Buddhist extremists have unleashed a wave of terror against the hapless Muslims. And any such news without proper confirmation that Bodh Gaya, has come under attack of Jihadi terrorists, can make matters more difficult for the minority Muslims there.
Myanmar blogger Chan (@mydaydream89) lamented the lack of worldwide attention to the explosions:
Subodh Khanna (@subodh1945), a retired medical representative from Kanpur, wrote:
Dr. Archwordsmith (@docsaystruth) criticized the usual response to these kinds of disasters:
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