2013 Bodh Gaya Serial Blasts: NIA Special Court Sentences All Accused To Life Imprisonment

| June 1 , 2018 , 12:56 IST

An NIA Special Court on Friday sentenced all the 5 accused in 2013 Bodh Gaya serial blasts case to life imprisonment, as called for by the special public prosecutor Lalan Kumar Sinha.

Special NIA judge Manoj Kumar Sinha had last week convicted all the 5 accused in the 2013 Bodh Gaya serial blasts case, namely Imtiyaz Ansari, Haider Ali, Mujib Ullah, Omair Siddiqui and Azharuddin Qureishi. The juvenile accused Taufiq Ahmed had been convicted by a juvenile court last year in October and sent to remand home for 3 years.

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The blasts took place in Bihar's Bodh Gaya on July 7, 2013 when a series of 10 bombs exploded in and around the Mahabodhi Temple complex in Bodh Gaya which is marked as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although no deaths took place, 5 people including 2 Buddhist monks were injured. The temple itself and the famous Bodhi Tree were unharmed but the new structures of the temple complex were damaged.

During subsequent investigations, 6 people were held responsible for the series of bomb blasts.

In court, the prosecution claimed that the blasts at the world-renowned pilgrim sport could have caused massive casualties, while the Defence counsel Surya Prakash Singh claimed that the intention of the blasts was to protest, and not cause casualties.

"Had the intention been to cause casualties, bombs would not have been planted at secluded spots and timer would not have been fixed at 5 am, when very few people were likely to be present at the Bodhi temple", Singh said.

The Defence counsel further claimed that the explosions were "were nothing more than a protest against atrocities on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar by the Buddhist majority".