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CCTV footage of no help in probing Bodh Gaya blasts

July 19, 2013 14:58 IST

National Investigation Agency sleuths, who are probing the serial blasts at Bodh Gaya, have failed to get any helpful leads from the CCTV footage at the templerecorded by the CCTV cameras at the spot.

"The imagery is pathetic and this has made our job extremely difficult. It is with great difficulty that we finally managed to put out a sketch of one of the bombers. The final image was created thanks to eye-witness accounts; reliance on the CCTV footage was minimal," said one of them.

The Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee had been informed earlier about the site being under threat from terror organisations. But the committee apparently did not take this threat too seriously.

The man who is suspected to have planted the bombs can be seen doing his parikrama at the temple. In spite of performing the parikrama in a wrong manner, none of the devotees at the site seem to have noticed him or his suspicious ways.

The cameras, which have no recording of any of the other bombers, were not even placed at strategic locations.

Ironically, security agencies had ample warnings about a possible terror strike at Bodh Gaya. A general alert had been issued to Buddhist shrines across India in the wake of the increasing violence against Muslims in Myanmar. The Delhi police later issued a specific alert about Bodh Gaya being a key target for the Indian Mujahideen.

Bihar police had told the temple management committee that it had to take certain measures to beef up the security at the site. The committee was asked to install proper CCTV cameras, train the staff to handle metal door frames and report any suspicious movement.

The NIA suspects that none of the directives issued by the police were followed. Some of them were implemented in a half-hearted manner.

"We hardly get any answers from the committee. Even the residents at Bodh Gaya are not of much help. The bombs were planted before a lot of people present at the shrine. Surprisingly, this did not arouse the suspicion of a single person," said the NIA official.

Image: The sketch of the suspected Bodh Gaya bomber

Vicky Nanjappa