Even as the central agencies gun for the Indian Mujahideen (IM), police officials are not ruling out possible Maoist involvement in the Bodh Gaya temple complex serial blasts on Sunday.
They base their observations on the fact that IM, or even the al Qaeda, have no specific interests or ties with Kachin or Karen rebels in the neighbouring Buddhist-dominated Myanmar, which could have rendered Bodh Gaya a target.
Senior police officials said the Maoists could use such an attack as a diversionary tactics to deflect the pressure on them due to concentrated police drives in Gaya-Jharkhand border areas as well as other parts of Bihar.
The bombs used in the Bodh Gaya attack are signature devices used by the Maoists, said a senior police officer posted in a Naxalite-affected district.
"The use of cylinders with crude timers, used at Bodh Gaya, is a Red signature. The fact that the bombs were placed at the peripheries of the temple indicates that a massacre was not intended. Also, the bombs were detonated at dawn, indicating the attack was designed for maximum publicity and to draw away the CRPF. In as much, the Reds, if they are involved, have succeeded. The IM would have targeted the town closer to noon, when foreign nationals and domestic tourist traffic would have been highest, especially on a Sunday."
The immediate catalyst for a Maoist action could have been a permanent camp established by the Gaya police and CRPF's CoBRA batallions at Dibra-Deo area, bordering Aurangabad, on the route of Naxalite squads, bottling several groups on either side.
Magadh Range DIG, Nayyar Hasnain Khan, admitted that this would be an operational camp, where 600 jawans would be permanently stationed.
Khan agreed that CRPF forces have thinned out as security concerns in neighbouring Bodh Gaya mounts. "That would have relieved the Maoists from the security advance and allowed bottled Red squads to slip out. In that sense, the Bodh Gaya attack could have been a diversionary one."
This forward base, designed specifically for area-domination exercises and to aid forward policing, has taken away a major advantage from the Maoists and brought the 'war' home to them for the first time.
The permanent base has also obviated their supply, while baulking frontal and tactical strikes by Maoists on isolated pickets in the area.
The camp located in the deep jungle and touching Maoist-controlled villages effectively prevents Maoist crossovers into Bihar and Jharkhand to escape police pressure.