Bihar government has banned the sale and use of small gas cylinders following evidence of their use in the serial blasts at Bodh Gaya.

“We have directed companies engaged in LPG business to stop with immediate effect the sale and supply of small cylinders,” Food and Civil Supplies minister Shayam Rajak told PTI on Saturday.

If any small gas cylinder is found in any shop, the gas agency of the locality will be held jointly responsible and prosecuted along with the consumer, the minister said, adding the concerned station house officer of the area would also be held accountable in such cases.

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had spoken about the use of 2.5 kg cylinders in bombs planted at the Bodh Gaya temple on July 7 and had raised questions on how they were taken inside despite the presence of security personnel.

The oil companies told the minister that in the past, 5 kg cylinders were given to about 2000 consumers. Around 3000 cylinders of 5 kg were supplied to these listed consumers and some of them were still refilling them.

Mr. Rajak directed companies to ask these consumers to surrender the 5 kg cylinders.

“If a 5 kg cylinder is found in anybody’s possession stringent action will be initiated against them,” Mr. Rajak added.