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'Blasts may be IM's reply to Shah's Ayodhya comment'

July 07, 2013 16:08 IST

Which group is responsible for the serial blasts in Gaya?

Was it the Indian Mujahideen, as suspected by the investigators at this point, or was it China, which is openly acrimonies towards Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama?

Could it have been an insider job or did a radical faction of Buddhists carry out the attack?

C D Sahay, former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, discusses the various possibilities with rediff.com’s Vicky Nanjappa.

"A China angle to the attack can be ruled out completely. The biggest problem for China is the international reaction to the Dalai Lama and his hold over the Tibetans.

The Chinese are not suppressing Buddhism as a religion. An attack on a religious place is not something they would consider.

In terms of security considerations, we all know that there is a radical group of Buddhists and they are not typically the followers of the Dalai Lama. Could this radical faction of Buddhists have carried out the blasts? It is highly unlikely.

Bodh Gaya does not only represent Tibetan Buddhism but it also represents believers of the religion from Japan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Also, why would they attack Bodh Gaya? If this was a factional feud between Buddhist groups, it would have started in Dharamshaala, Gangktok or even Bylkuppe, which are the main centres of the religion in India.

Gaya is an important pilgrimage for many Hindus, who believe that their deceased loved ones attain mukti once their final rites are performed here.

Bodh Gaya does not have any history of conflict between Hindus and the radical or practicing Buddhists.

This cannot be an insider job as no insider who has faith in the place would dare to carry out such an attack.

The Indian Mujahideen could be the biggest gainer from such an attack. For starters, the terror strike could be in retaliation to Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Shah’s statement at Ayodhya -- he said all Hindus wanted the RamTemple to be built there -- but could the IM have planned an operation such as this in a matter of 24 hours?

They may not have planned it but considering the shrine had been on their radar as a terror target since 2011, they could have timed it with the statement.

It is a known fact that the IM has been trying to create communal conflict.

Gaya does not have a history of communal tension.

The terror strike may have been carried out to create religious tension in Gaya which has a sizeable population of both Hindus and Muslims.

One must also take into account the ongoing conflict between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar.

Could they have carried out these blasts to send a message to the Buddhists in Myanmar? That would make sense as Myanmar is the only place where the Muslims are in conflict with the Buddhists.

Without a doubt, the terror strike in Gaya was carried out to create communal animosity."

Vicky Nanjappa
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