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5 convicted in 2013 Bodhgaya serial blasts by NIA court

All five were accused of setting off nine bombs in 30 minutes around the Mahabodhi Temple complex in Bodhgaya. Five people were injured in the explosions.

india Updated: May 25, 2018 13:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Bodhgaya serial blasts,Bodh Gaya,Bodhgaya
Broken windows at the Bodh Gaya Buddhist temple complex after low intensity-blasts took place on July 7, 2013.(AFP File Photo)

A special NIA court in Patna on Friday convicted five Indian Mujahideen militants in the 2013 Bodh Gaya serial blasts case in which several people were injured.

Special NIA judge Manoj Kumar Sinha held all the five accused — Imtiyaz Ansari, Haider Ali, Mujib Ullah, Omair Siddiqui and Azharuddin Qureishi — guilty in the case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activity (Prevention) Act and the Explosives Act.

A sixth accused in the case - Taufiq Ahmed - was less than 18 years of age and sentenced to three years in remand home by a juvenile court last year, which found him guilty of involvement in the case.

The court fixed May 31 as the date for pronouncement of the quantum of sentence.

It was contended on behalf of defence lawyer Surya Prakash Singh that the NIA had failed to produce CCTV footage and that a security guard, who was present at one of the sites when the explosions took place had failed to recognize any of the accused.

The contention was repudiated by public prosecutor Lalan Prasad Sinha who pointed towards the association of all the accused in terrorist activities and statements recorded by as many as 90 witnesses during trial, wherein it was placed on record that the blasts had been carried out to avenge alleged atrocities on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by the Buddhist majority.

On July 7, 2013 a series of nine bombs exploded in 30 minutes around the Mahabodhi Temple complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Bodh Gaya, injuring five people.

The Mahabodhi temple had been on the watch-list of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing since October.

Bodhgaya draws lakhs of Buddhist pilgrims from Myanmar and elsewhere in Asia.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: May 25, 2018 11:54 IST