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Bodh Gaya blast probe: NIA summons Japanese origin monk

Bodh Gaya blast probe: NIA summons Japanese origin monk
July 24
18:41 2013

TNN | Jul 24, 2013, 04.45 AM IST

BodhgayaGAYA: In a significant development, the National Investigation Agency probing the BodhGaya serial blasts on Tuesday summoned Nagpur-based monk of Japanese origin,Surai Sasai, for questioning. The summon, sources said, was issued to Sasai at his Nagpur address where he now lives. He renounced his Japanese citizenship to preach Buddhism in the land of its birth and has lived in India for nearly 50 years.

The NIA summon to Sasai has raised eyebrows because the monk, according to BodhGayaresearcher Rajiv Kumar, is a well-knownAmbedkarite. Sasai, it may be recalled, along with a select band of monks like BhadantAnandand BhadantPragyasheel, started a movement for complete Buddhist control over the Mahabodhi temple in 1992.

The movement hit international headlines and in a clever move, thenchief minister Lalu Prasad made Sasai a member of the shrine management committee, a position he continues to hold. Nitish Kumar, while revamping the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee following the illegal felling of the branches of the sacred tree and their alleged sale, spared Sasai. He was the only survivor of the major reshuffle that saw the inclusion of two JD(U) and one BJP activists in the committee. Temple management committee members nominated on JD(U) and BJP quota have already been quizzed by the NIA.

Sasai has also defied deportation orders of the government for overstaying in the country following the expiry of his visa. Following massive protests by neo-Buddhists and Ambedkarites inMaharashtra, and Sasai’s steadfast refusal to leave the country, the deportation order was withdrawn. Sasai was thereafter given Indian citizenship.

NIA also summoned nearly half-a-dozen shop owners of Fatehpur, a Naxal-hit block. The shop owners summoned by the agency deal with cylinders, watches, ammonium nitrate and other ingredients used to cause the serial blasts that rocked the seat of Buddha’s enlightenment. The agency has been frantically looking for the source of supply of the blast material. Maoists remain one of the suspect organisations as revealed by home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde during his Bodh Gaya visit.

The article is copied from Times of India Online: RVisionTV gives due credits to the original writers and publishers.



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