High alert in Chennai after bomb threat

September 14th, 2008 - 6:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 14 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu capital was put on high alert Sunday, a day after New Delhi was rocked by terrorist attacks as a series of five explosions hit crowded markets killing 21 and injuring nearly 100.”Our state of alertness just went a notch higher,” police commissioner R. Sekar told IANS. He was reacting to terrorists’ email threats to bomb the southern metropolis after Saturday’s Delhi blasts.

“Heavy patrolling has been ordered at all temples, churches, mosques, cinemas, air, train and bus terminals, markets, parks, etc. Further, bookings of parcels have been halted for 24 hours and luggage of all passengers are being checked physically and through metal detectors,” Sekar added.

Devotees visiting temples, churches and mosques were being frisked, according to witnesses.

“We do not mind this at all because these measures are meant for our safety,” said Shanmugha Velayudhan, a worshipper at the Mylapore Shiva temple - the biggest here.

“Divinity and religious beliefs are supposed to be beyond violence. However, when terrorists use that denomination as an excuse to spread a fear psychosis, it is better that law-abiding citizens cooperate with the authorities for their own good,” remarked Nancy McPherson, an Anglo-Indian worshipper at a church in north Chennai.

“The immortal poet Iqbal wrote that religion does not teach hatred long ago. As peace-loving citizens, like Iqbal himself said, we want India to be the best haven of peace. Therefore, we are gladly cooperating with the law and order machinery,” said Sheikh Abdul Quddoose, a devout Muslim in Triplicane in the centre of this city.

While random checks were being carried out on vehicles plying on all thoroughfares, parking facilities at all terminals have been cancelled state-wide for the next 24 hours. Similar measures have been initiated all over the state, top police sources added.

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