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Bodh Gaya, one of the holiest Buddhist shrines of the world, was on Sunday rocked by nine serial bomb blasts that injured two monks.
The coordinated blasts that took place between 5:30am to 5:58am left everyone confused in the beginning.
However, when the situation cleared and images and videos started pouring in from the scene, everyone expressed immense shock about a place symbolising peace being brutalised.
Everyone, however, heaved a sigh of relief when it was revealed that there wasn't much damage to the World heritage Site. Also, apart from the two monks with minor injuries no casualities were reported.
The Union home ministry issued an advisory to all states with special emphasis on eight of them in particular - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune.
Further, security provided to most major temples too was considerably increased.
A Buddhist monk at the shrine told IANS, it is "very unfortunate that security has to be beefed up in a religious place where actually there should be freedom".
Later, reports of Intelligence Bureau having already issued warnings about threat to the temple started trickling in and were solidified when Nitish Kumar admitted to foreknowledge of threats to the temple.
Where parties were already reacting strongly to the incident, the political flavour in their reactions increased much more after information about the IB alert.
Attacks on religious places won't be tolerated: Prime Minister
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh 'strongly condemned' the attack and criticised such terror attacks on religious places. He also prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured.
PM condemns blasts at Bodh Gaya, says such attacks on religious places will never be tolerated. http://t.co/SxmoJFFX7u— PIB India (@PIB_India) July 7, 2013
Mahabodhi temple blasts 'senseless violence': President
Calling the attacks a 'senseless act of violence' President Pranab Mukherjee called out to people to maintain peace and calm. He also asked locals to cooperate with the authorities.
Nitish admits to lapse in query, condemns attack
Bihar's chief minister Nitish Kumar while addressing the press after the blasts admitted to lapse on the part of the state government in accounting for warnings issued by security agencies about threat to the temple. He condemned the blasts and sought CISF security for the temple.
Terrorism needs to be taken seriously: BJP
Senior BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad raised questions about the lack of steps taken to secure the temple premises, despite intelligence reports about a possible terror attack. He also urged those trying to 'control the IB for vote-bank' to introspect.
Read more: BJP also called for a 'Gaya Bandh' on Monday
Lalu Yadav targets Nitish, calls it a failure of state govt
The former chief minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav not only condemned the brutualisation of the monument but also emphasised on the importance of the temple in Bihar. He also questioned the security arrangements in the temple.
Mahabodhi temple blast cowardly attack: Modi
Gujarat chief minister and BJP's poll campaign chief Narendra Modi termed the serial blasts as a cowardly act. He also added that the attacks were a matter of great sadness for the entire Buddhist community around the world.
Cowardly attack on Mahabodhi Temple is a matter of great sadness for the people of India & the Buddhist community around the world.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 7, 2013
Sushil Modi condemns blasts, flays govt
BJP leader and former deputy chief minister of Bihar Sushil Modi like all politicians condemned the blasts and expressed relief that the blasts didn't claim any lives.
BJP trying to communalise politics: Digvijaya Singh
After tweeting about how he condemned the blasts, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh attacked BJP for their comments on the attack and accused them of attempting to communalise politics and the issue as well.
Strongly condemn bomb blast at Bodh Gaya . All efforts should be made to find the culprits and punished.— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) July 7, 2013
* Other political reactions:
Is violence part of plan to disturb states, asks Mamata
Read: Mahabodhi trends as Twiterati expresses anguish on #BodhGaya blasts
In a country where god holds the highest regard in the lives of most people, an attack on the house of god left people with anger and anxiety as well.
"We will make no distinction between terrorists who committed these acts.we will hunt them down, irrespective of their religion" #bodhgaya— simpleton (@muralispeak) July 7, 2013
I am very much upset today when I heard about the incident happened in Mahabodhi Temple. It’s an attack to our Peace.
— Smrutiranjan Jena (@smruti08) July 7, 2013
Last month when I had visited the Mahabodhi, my friend and I were appalled at how poor the security arrangements were.— nusratjafri (@nusratjafri) July 7, 2013
Eight blasts and only 2 injured, how carefully these bombs are planted, almost with intention not to cause any damage. No? #Mahabodhi— Nalini (@KaneezOfPoetry) July 7, 2013
Video: 'No outfit has taken responsibility for Bodh Gaya blasts'