Bodh Gaya: With no crucial leads yet in the Mahabodhi temple blasts case, sources in the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said on Wednesday that locals could have been used to execute the attack in the world heritage site in Bodh Gaya, Bihar.
The investigators have also announced Rs 10 lakh reward for anyone providing clues leading to the Mahabodhi temple bombers. The NIA has also not ruled out the role of Indian Mujahideen or Rohingya Muslims in the serial blasts.
NIA sources said that the unexploded IEDs will be checked for DNA samples, a technique which was used to probe the Boston bombings case. The NIA took over the temple blasts investigation on Tuesday. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) is also likely to be formed to further probe the terror attack.
Earlier, four suspects were detained in Patna on Tuesday for questioning. The investigators have established that all cylinders used in the blasts were new and locally made, and all shopkeepers selling them within 100 km are being identified and questioned.
But a bomb placed at a height of 20 feet on the Buddha statue is still troubling the investigators. They believe a ladder must have been used by terrorists but the fact that a ladder was present inside but it's absent now has confounded them.
Anti-terror teams from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have also joined the probe in Bodh Gaya. Even as the questioning of a man whose identity card was found close to the blast site continued, officers say they are almost certain he had no role.
The NIA and Bodh Gaya Police have also taken CCTV footage from hotels and guest houses in Bodh Gaya besides seizing registers of guests from over 200 such premises and are questioning hotel managers on suspicious check-ins and exits.
Differences, however, have cropped up between the NIA and the Bodh Gaya Police on the quality of CCTV footage from the temple complex. The NIA maintains the CCTV footage does not reveal much and even said they believed the terrorists were aware of their exact location and hence have managed to evade the cameras, which is a view not shared by the Bodh Gaya Police.
Investigators are also interrogating each of the 40 private security guards and housekeeping employees deployed at the temple complex with a specific emphasis on personnel on duty the night before the blasts. Analysis of cell phone calls made before and after the blasts have so far not yielded substantial leads.