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Those convicted are: Umer Siddiqui, 39, Azaharuddin Qureshi, 25, Imtiyaz Ansari alias Alam, 35, Haider Ali alias Black Beauty, 30, and Mujibullah Ansari, 28.
Last Friday the court convicted all the five accused. As many as 90 witnesses were examined during the trial. The convicted five were also involved in the Gandhi Maidan serial blasts during the Hunkar Rally of the then prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Patna on October 27, 2013.
“The convicts were members of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). They also had connections with Indian Mujahideen,” the special PP said last week at the time of conviction.
Thirteen improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were planted inside and around the Mahabodhi Mahavihara, out of which ten had exploded. Five persons, including two Buddhist monks, were injured in the blasts.
Four IEDs had exploded in and around the shrine, including one near the Bodhi tree, while six went off in its one kilometre radius. Sources said one of the IEDs was planted below an ambulance for inflicting maximum damage.
The special PP said another accused Taufique Ansari, who was also involved in the Bodh Gaya and Patna blasts, was a juvenile at the time of the crime. “Being a juvenile at that time, his case was transferred to the juvenile justice board (JJB), which had sentenced him to three years imprisonment on October 11, 2017,” he said.
Another person to have been involved in the Bodh Gaya case was one Tariq Ansari, 24. However, he had died while activating a bomb inside a public convenience at Patna Junction just before the Gandhi Maidan rally, special PP Sinha said. “Haider and Mujibullah were the masterminds of Bodh Gaya blasts. Their motive was to take revenge of the alleged atrocities on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Explosive materials and the temple’s sketch with markings were recovered from Eram Lodge in Ranchi where the duo had stayed. The IEDs were planted at the places marked,” Sinha said.