No damage to Mahabodhi complex, says ASI

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) team, which visited the World Heritage Site of Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, has found the shrine has not sustained any structural damage.

A team of the ASI officials led by Sanjeev Mittal made a survey of the temple complex and checked the shrine structures at the blast spots thoroughly. “Mercifully, the original structure of Mahabodhi Mahavihara has not sustained any damage. Some structures, developed in modern times, have suffered minor damages,” said an ASI official.

The staircase near the Vajrasana – the diamond throne near the Bodhi tree - is one such site. “A few steps made of cement have been damaged. Besides, there is some minor damage to Votive stupas (smaller stupas) on the shrine premises,” said the official.

Rajnath visit

Meanwhile, BJP president Rajnath Singh, flanked by Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and deputy leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, visited Bodh Gaya on Tuesday and took a first-hand information about the blasts which rocked the land of Buddha on Sunday.

Refraining from assailing Nitish, the BJP chief slammed the UPA government for failing to contain terror activities across the country.

Probe handed over to NIA

The Home Ministry on Tuesday handed over the probe into the serial blasts in Bodh Gaya to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following a request from the Bihar government, reports DHNS from New Delhi.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde is slated to visit the temple town on Wednesday to ensure that there are no glitches in coordination between the Bihar government and the central agencies. A notification transferring the case from the Bihar Police to the NIA was issued late in the night, officials said.

Since its inception in 2009, the NIA has taken up 63 cases across the country, including 12 this year. The five-member NIA team, led by a DIG, reached Bodhgaya on Sunday. The team has been assisting the Bihar Police in the investigation.

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