Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday admitted that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other security agencies had alerted the state government about the Mahabodhi temple complex being on terror crosshairs.
"Alerts had been received earlier on the threat, following which CCTVs had been installed in the complex," Kumar told reporters soon after surveying the temple complex in the aftermath of the serial blasts at the World Heritage site.
The chief minister, however, skirted reporters' queries as to whether the serial blasts testified to a lapse in security of the complex. "After today's incident the security set up will be reviewed and strengthened", was all he said.
Kumar said he would soon request the centre to deploy the CISF to take over the security of the temple complex. "This is the appropriate agency for the job," he said.
The chief minister said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) would investigate the blasts to unravel the conspiracy behind the attack from all its aspects.
"An NIA team is already on its way to Bodh Gaya," he confirmed, early on Sunday afternoon.
Kumar said till the NIA took over the serial blasts probe, the Bihar police were carrying out a "scientific investigation" (a term coined by Bihar DGP Abhayanand), into the case.
"Forensic experts are already there at blast sites," he added.
Condemning the blasts, the Bihar chief minister expressed confidence that the culprits would be caught and punished at the earliest. An IB joint director accompanied the chief minister during the trip, along with top Bihar officials.
Kumar also confirmed four blasts took place inside the temple complex, one at the base of a 80-feet-tall statue close to the complex at three near a school inside the Terega monastry, the abode the 17th Karmapa during his visits to Bodh Gaya.
The chief minister's visit to the temple complex was marred by protest demonstration led by Gaya BJP MP Hari Manjhi and Gaya Town MLA Prem Kumar, till recently urban development minister in the Nitish government.
Both the leaders were among those who were taken in custody.
RJD leader Lalu Prasad said once the IB had sent out an alert, it was the responsibility of the state government to ensure adequate security for the temple complex.