Two days after the serial blasts at the Mahabodhi temple complex in Bodhgaya, the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar on Tuesday speedily approved the creation of an anti-terrorist squad (ATS) at an annual cost of Rs. 15.03 crore to deal with the menace in the state.
The elite 343-member squad would be headed by an inspector general of police. Police sources said the ATS, the fifth such unit in the country, would have highly trained commandos, ready to deal with any situation.
The Bihar Police decided to set up the ATS on the basis of the National Investigation Agency’s presentation at a multi-agency meeting with special focus on the spurt in Indian Mujahideen activities in the Mithilanchal regions of Darbhanga and Madhubani and the bordering districts of Araria, Kishanganj and Sitamarhi.
The ATS has been necessitated more due to geographical proximity of the state with Nepal and Bangladesh, which have turned into safe havens for anti-Indian groups, pushing men, money (via fake notes) and destructive material across the porous international borders.
In a related development, the Patna police, acting on directives from central agencies, picked up four persons from different localities in the city.
The four suspects have been identified as Anand Prakash, Gunjan Patel, Hassan Mallik and Priyanka.
Sources said the two women and men, all in their early twenties, were at Bodhgaya on Sunday morning and checked out of a local hotel at 6 am, minutes after blasts.
An official said the two couples seemed to be lovers but nothing could be ruled out till they are taken back to Gaya and debriefed by central agencies.