New Delhi:Five years after a series of 10 blasts went off on 7 July 2013 around the Mahabodhi Temple complex in Bihar, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Mohammed Jahidul Islam, the mastermind.

“Islam, aged 38 years, was arrested by an NIA team on 6 August from Ramanagara near Bengaluru. His house was also searched and some electronic devices besides traces of explosives have been recovered. He is the top leader of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in India and is wanted in the Burdwan blast case and in many other cases in Bangladesh," NIA spokesperson Alok Mittal said on Tuesday.

The NIA added that “on Islam’s directions Mustafizur Rehman, his close associate, had arranged and assembled all the explosives for the incident."

He was produced before the Special Court for NIA cases in Bengaluru. The court has granted five days of transit remand, following which he will be produced before the Special NIA Court in Patna.

The NIA also arrested two other suspected members of the JMB, in connection with the Bodh Gaya blast. Both the suspects were nabbed in Kerala. A third member of the outfit was arrested from Karnataka in connection with the 2014 Burdwan (West Bengal) blast case.

Abdul Karim and Mustafizur Rehman, from Murshidabad and Birbhum districts of West Bengal, respectively, were arrested from a labour camp in Kerala’s Malappuram district on 3 August, a statement released by the NIA said.

The two men had been hiding in the camp after they allegedly planted improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at Bodh Gaya’s Mahabodhi temple, it said.

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