‘Infiltration, Naxalism and communal violence have made investigation of terror attacks complex’
Infiltration, Naxalism and communal violence have made terror attacks and investigations in to them a complex problem, and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would probe all angles of Sunday’s serial blasts at Bodh Gaya, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said on Wednesday.
He was talking to journalists at the Mahabodhi temple, which he visited along with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Congress leader Ambika Soni, and where he met NIA officers to review the progress of the investigation.
However, Mr. Shinde was non-committal when asked why security measures failed to avert the attack, despite intelligence inputs. “We are watchful. There are so many complex problems. There is infiltration from other countries, Naxalism and local communal disturbances. We have to look at all angles.”
Asked about the probe, he said: “We are investigating all angles. It would be inappropriate to arrest anyone in a hurry. We have to get to the bottom of the case and arrest the actual perpetrators. We are conducting a detailed probe.” Around three-four persons, who used a car, were suspected to be involved in the attacks.
Thirteen bombs were planted after midnight, a few hours before 10 exploded on Sunday, he said. As requested by the Bihar government, the Centre handed over the probe to the NIA, he said. The government immediately deployed the NIA and the National Security Guard (NSG) to work with the police, but bad weather delayed their arrival. “It is true that we had deployed the teams immediately by our aircraft. But, owing to strong winds and thunderstorm, the aircraft had to return. The teams left again by 4 p.m.,” he said when asked about the 14-hour delay on the part of the teams in reaching the site.
Asked whether intelligence alerts were ignored, he said: “After the Home Ministry gave information to the State government in October last, the Delhi Police, too, gave inputs. On July 3, the Deputy Inspector-General held a meeting to review security measures here with the local administration. A detailed inquiry will be conducted.”
Now that the Bihar government had sought Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) cover for the Mahabodhi temple, the Centre would consider deploying personnel of the force at religious sites. “The government has not yet provided security to religious places. The Bihar government requested CISF cover for the temple after the blasts. Similar requests were made in the past for the Sai Baba temple at Shirdi and the Jama Masjid. We will think about this matter,” he said.