News / Asia

India Investigates Buddhist Site Attack

Anjana Pasricha
In India, one man has been detained in connection with a series of low intensity blasts at a prominent Buddhist holy site. Intelligence agencies are investigating possible links between Sunday's attack and the ethnic conflict between Rohingya Muslims and Buddhists in neighboring Burma.
    
The arrest was made Monday after police searched for clues and analyzed security camera footage from the Bodh Gaya temple complex in Bihar state.

The complex, where Buddha is believed to have gained enlightenment, is one of Buddhism’s holiest sites.
  
Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said ten blasts had taken place.

He said a total of 13 bombs had been planted at the site. He says two people were injured - a 50-year-old and a 30-year-old man.

The low intensity blasts did not cause much damage to the temple complex. However they have raised concerns because it is the first time a Buddhist holy site has been hit by what authorities have termed a terror attack.

  • A Buddhist monk is carried on a stretcher for treatment after he was injured in an explosion in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, July 7, 2013.
  • An Indian security personnel walks next to bloody footprints inside the Mahabodhi temple complex, after a series of explosions at Bodh Gaya in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, July 7, 2013.
  • A bomb squad member defuses a suspected timer fitted device in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, July 7, 2013.
  • A security officer inspects the site of an explosion on the campus of the Mahabodhi Temple, the Buddhist Great Awakening temple, in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India, July 7, 2013.

Officials say Indian intelligence agencies had warned of an attack in Bodh Gaya in retaliation for alleged atrocities on Rohingya Muslims, an ethnic minority in Burma, by the country’s Buddhist community.

However, the head of the Institute for Conflict Management in New Delhi, Ajay Sahni, says there is no evidence to link the blasts directly to radical Rohingya Muslim groups in Burma, which is also known as Myanmar. He says they are believed to have been carried out by terror groups which commonly operate in India and have been blamed for numerous other terror strikes.
  
“What has been done apparently is that groups that are linked to Pakistan’s terrorist network have made issue of the attacks against the Rohingyas in Myanmar and have been threatening that they would execute revenge against Buddhist targets. They are the same set of players, but it identifies a new set of targets. Till now Buddhist targets have not really been on their radar,” said Ajay Sahni.

Security is being tightened at Buddhist sites, most of which are located in the eastern states of Bihar, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh. Some of Buddhism’s most sacred pilgrim spots lie in India where Buddha began preaching 2,500 years ago, although the religion went on to become more popular in East Asian countries.

Bihar’s Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, vowed to tighten security at the temple site in Bodh Gaya. 

Kumar says it is a World Heritage Site and he has asked federal authorities for additional security teams to guard the complex.   
|
Thousands of pilgrims from East Asian countries such as Japan and Thailand visit Buddhist sites in India, which has been trying to tap the potential of what it calls spiritual tourism.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs