Nitish Kumar seeks CISF cover for Bodh Gaya temple

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The Bihar government on Monday requested the Centre to provide the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to guard the Bodh Gaya temple, where serial blasts injured two the previous day.

“The Mahabodhi temple is a world heritage site. The Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee [BTMC] has passed a proposal to increase the security of the temple.

The State will seek the services of the CISF and bear the expenses,” Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said at a press conference here on Monday.

A general alert had been sent out in the State. “Such incidents can happen anywhere in the country. In Bihar, this is a first. No one can claim to prevent such incidents.”

‘A big challenge’

The State had taken measures on the intelligence inputs received. “It is a big challenge. A lesson from this incident is that we should be alert and improve our response time.”

After the blasts, the security of the temple was handed over to the State police. Earlier, the BTMC engaged the services of a security agency. The police were in-charge of the peripheral security. The BTMC too had 20 guards. At the time of the blasts, eight guards were on duty but the exact number had to be ascertained, D. Balamurugan, Gaya District Magistrate and BTMC chairman, told The Hindu.

“An unsecured boundary area was the weakest link in the security infrastructure of the temple. Work on that boundary wall will be taken up by Thursday,” he said adding “Only two steps under the Bodhi tree were damaged and that has been repaired. No major repair is required.”

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