REUTERS - A series of explosions in and around Buddhism's holiest shrine in Bihar injured two persons early on Sunday, in what the government described as a “terror” attack.
The Mahabodhi Temple complex is located in Bodh Gaya, the place where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment.
“It is a terror attack ... no outfit has claimed credit for these attacks,” junior home minister RPN Singh told reporters.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and said such attacks on religious places “will never be tolerated”.
The explosions, which occurred between 5:30 am and 6 am, injured two persons, Bihar police chief Abhayanand told reporters in Patna.
Four blasts occurred inside the Mahabodhi Temple premises, three blasts at Tergar monastery and another near the famous 80-foot Buddha statue, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said, adding a team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will probe the explosions.
One blast occurred where a tourist bus was standing, Home Minister Sushil Shinde informed reporters.
An eyewitness monk told a TV channel he heard explosions near the Bodhi tree, a sacred fig near the Mahabodhi Temple which is said to be a descendent of the one Buddha sat under for three days and nights in the sixth century BC, before finding enlightenment.
“The place where we offer butter lamps, there was one explosion there. The incident occurred behind the Bodhi Tree,” he said
Reporting by Shashank Chouhan for India Online; Writing by David Lalmalsawma