NIA takes over blasts case

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The Bodh Gaya blasts case was on Tuesday night handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). It had been assisting the Bihar police in the probe. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had asked the Centre to hand over the probe to the NIA and the security of the historic Buddhist temple complex to paramilitary forces.

Soon after 10 bombs went off on Sunday, the Home Ministry had despatched a five-member NIA team — including an officer of the DIG rank and two Superintendents of Police — along with bomb experts of the National Security Guard and other forensic experts. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is scheduled to visit the Mahabodhi temple on Wednesday.

He will be accompanied by Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami and other senior officials. He will inspect the blasts site and meet injured people. He is also likely to meet the Chief Minister and hold a security review meeting.

ATS teams reach Bihar

Rahi Gaikwad reports from Patna:

The Anti-Terrorism Squads of Delhi, Hyderabad and Maharashtra police have arrived in Bihar even as the Bihar Cabinet on Tuesday approved and sanctioned the formation of an ATS for the State. It even notified the posts. It will have 344 personnel.

“ATS teams have come from these three States to examine the pattern of working of the terror outfit in question. They will be examining the chemical components of the explosives and other recoveries,” a police official said.

Indian Mujahideen was on the radar of the investigators. With the examination of CCTVs still under way, no concrete leads have been thrown up thus far.

“We had a similar squad, but now we will have an ATS with multiples wings for intelligence gathering, investigations, forensic analysis and so on. It will a well-equipped and well-trained squad headed by an Inspector General-level officer,” Principal Secretary (Home) Amir Subhani told The Hindu.

The NIA has not released Vinod Mistri, a Gaya resident. There were unconfirmed reports of four persons being detained in Patna for questioning owing to their suspicious movement as seen in CCTV footage. Police officers, however, denied any fresh detentions or arrests.

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