Bodh Gaya blasts: NIA releases sketches of five suspects

Patna, July 30 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has released sketches of five suspects in the July 7 serial bomb explosions at Bodh Gaya's Mahabodhi temple in Bihar.

The sketches, including one of a foreigner, have been distributed among the public, particularly rickshaw-pullers, auto-rickshaw drivers and local civic body members, police said Tuesday.

"NIA officials have sought information about the suspects," a police official said.

NIA has also given five telephone numbers on which people can provide information. "NIA has assured it would not reveal the identity of those giving information," he said.

In mid-July, the NIA released two sketches of one of the suspects.

"NIA is working on local suspects," the official said.

According to police, NIA officials have questioned some local people, including officials of the temple management and shopkeepers.

Ten bombs exploded in Bodh Gaya in which two Buddhist monks were injured. Three live bombs were recovered and defused.

A special court has been established in the Patna civil court to hear the serial bombings case, said the official who is assisting the NIA's probe.

Maoists have denied involvement in the blasts.

Bihar Police officials had suspected their role in the bombings.

The NIA initially detained six people but released all after questioning.

The Mahabodhi temple - a Unesco World Heritage site - is where the Buddha, born in neighbouring Nepal, attained enlightenment around 2,550 years ago.

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