The National Investigation Agency has charged two men it had arrested from Karnataka in August this year for allegedly hatching a plot to kill the Dalai Lama. The NIA filed a chargesheet against the two men suspected to be members of a Bangladesh-based terror outfit.
One of the accused, Adil Sheikh (29) was arrested from Cantonment Railway Station on August 6 and is believed to be a senior member of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB), Bangladesh. The second suspect Mohammed Jahidul Islam alias Munir Sheikh (38) who was arrested from Ramanagaram on August 7, is a native of Jamalpur, Bangladesh.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) stated on Monday that the two terror suspects who were arrested from Bengaluru recently were the masterminds behind the planting of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Bodh Gaya on January 19 this year, while the Dalai Lama was visiting.
"The two men had played a role in planting IEDs at a kitchen set up in Bodh Gaya on January 19 this year to express solidarity with Rohingya Muslims fighting the Myanmar government and wage a war against the government of India," the NIA statement said.
The NIA filed a charge sheet before the Special Court in Patna on Thursday and said that the explosion was to have been carried out when the Dalai Lama and the governor of Bihar were at the Bodh Gaya temple.
NIA sleuths allegedly received information that some suspicious objects were lying around near the Kalchakra Maidan, Bodh Gaya, under a generator. The police were informed and the site was secured immediately. The police had found two more live IEDs in that spot as well.
The NIA has stated that suspect Jahidul Islam conspired with two others to carry out terror attacks in India by planting IEDs and carrying out explosions at Buddhist monuments and sites to show solidarity with the Rohingya Muslims.
“The accused met at multiple locations and carried out reconnaissance of the targets at Bodh Gaya and procured explosives and other materials to manufacture IEDs,” the NIA said.
Jahidul Islam, with the help of the other co-accused, allegedly made three IEDs and two hand grenades. The IEDs were allegedly planted by Adil Sheikh, Dilwar Hossain and Arif Hussain in Bodh Gaya. NIA had earlier established links to eight persons in the case out of whom seven were arrested. NIA is yet to arrest Arif Hussain.
However, refuting the NIA statement, Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy on Monday said that no such plot had been hatched in Karnataka to assassinate the Dalai Lama.
“According to information provided by the state police, no such attempt was made in Karnataka,” Kumaraswamy said.