Patna, Jul 9: Lambasting the Centre and Bihar government for failing to prevent the serial blasts in Bodh Gaya despite intelligence tip off about nine months ago, BJP today demanded putting in place a comprehensive plan and coordinated effort by various agencies to deal with threat to country's internal security.
"The IB had given a specific tip off about nine months ago on possibility of a terror attack in Bodh Gaya. Yet the union home ministry failed to put in place security arrangements in the temple town and in Mahabodhi temple in particular to prevent the reprehensible terror attack two days ago," BJP president Rajnath Singh said.
The terror attack in Bodh Gaya could have been averted had the central and state governments paid heed to the intelligence input and put in place security arrangements in the temple town in view of threat perceptions due to the situation in Myanmar, he said referring to sectarian clashes between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in that country.
The union home ministry did not act on the intelligence tip off and also did not issue advisory to the state government to review security arrangements in the temple town and deploy additional forces.
He slammed its reported plea that the intelligence agencies had given no time frame for the occurence of the terror attack. "The Centre cannot escape the responsibility of protecting the Buddhist shrines in Bodh Gaya in view of their international importance and visited by pilgrims from across the country and the world."
The Centre, he said, had failed to take effective measures to deal with internal security from terrorists and Maoists and emphasised on coordinated efforts between the security and intelligence agencies to root out the menace.
The terror attack in Bodh Gaya has damaged India's image as an abode of Buddhist pilgrimmage and pilgrims from abroad will hesitate to visit various shrines in the temple town and elsewhere in the country fearing threat to their lives, he said.
The BJP president said international terrorists may not be directly carrying out attacks in the country but the role of sleeper modules of various terror outfits could not be denied.
Seeking political consensus on tackling internal security, he demanded formulation of a comprehensive policy to deal with terrorist attacks with an emphasis on coordinated efforts among security and intelligence agencies.
"Our party leaders have been persistently demanding framing of a comprehensive policy on internal security during deliberations in Parliament and will continue to do so in future as well."
He said with Maoist menace assuming a national proportion in recent years, the affected states cannot deal with it on their own and emphasised on a joint effort between them and the Centre to root it out.
Referring to the Ishrat Jahan encounter case in which some IB officials are under the CBI scanner, Singh said the Centre was misusing the two agencies to settle scores with political adversaries and had also pitted the two agencies against each other, which posed a serious threat to the security preparedness of the country,
Singh accompanied by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and senior party leaders like Ravishankar Prasad and Dharmendra Pradhan visited Bodh Gaya during the day.
Singh, who reached Patna after visiting Bodh Gaya, presided over a function in which senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi broke his 24-hour fast launched yesterday to protest against security lapses in Bodh Gaya and the police firing in Bagaha. Six Tharu tribals were killed in the police firing.
Modi had sat on the fast to also protest the state government's "insensitive attitude" toward pilgrims from the state stranded in Uttarakhand.
Jaitley questioned the Centre and the Bihar government for 'conveniently' not responding to the question why security measures were not refurbished in the temple town despite credible intelligence tip off and the Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar's disclosure about possibility of a terror attack in Bodh Gaya.
"No reply has been forthcoming from the Centre and the state government about action or lack of it on terror threat to Bodh Gaya," Jaitley said.
Stating that there was a serious threat to internal security from terror outfits and their various modules operating the country, the senior BJP leader regretted that some political parties have been playing vote bank politics and trying to weaken a concerted action plan by projecting terrorists as 'heroes' and security officials as villains, he said referring to the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.
"These parties are doing great disservice to the country by questioning the role of the IB officials," Jaitley said castigating the Congress and UPA government for the ongoing CBI probe about the role of some IB officials in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case.