Letter threatens terror attack on temples on Janmashtami (Lead)

August 20th, 2008 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) The Delhi government has received an anonymous letter threatening a terror attack on temples across the city during the Hindu festival of Janmashtami Aug 24, official sources said Wednesday. “The anonymous letter, received at the Delhi Secretariat Tuesday evening, threatens terror attacks on temples in the city during Janmashtami by Kashmiri militants,” an official source told IANS.

Janmashtami is celebrated every year as the day of birth of Lord Krishna.

“Though the letter bears a postal stamp, it is not clear from where it was sent. It has been forwarded to the home department,” the source added.

Repeated attempts to contact the home secretary, however, failed.

Rajan Bhagat, Delhi Police public relation officer, said: “We have not received any such letter from the Delhi government as yet. But security has already been beefed up at temples across the capital.”

“Security has been increased in consultation with temple authorities. Security personnel have been deployed. Door Frame Metal Detectors and CCTVs have been installed at various temples,” said Bhagat.

Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna also sent a letter to temples, mosques and gurdwaras urging them to beef up security, especially during the festive season, in the wake of recent terror attacks in Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

“We received a letter last week from the lieutenant governor, appealing to us to take steps to increase security around religious places during the festival season, especially on occasions when there are large crowds,” said V.K. Mishra, the administrator in charge at the capital’s Laxmi Narayan temple, popularly called Birla Mandir.

“The letter said that terror outfits are making religious places their easy targets and steps should be taken to ensure security at temples, mosques and gurdwaras,” said Mishra.

The Birla temple management has already written to Delhi Police for extra personnel during the Janmashtami festival.

“We have increased the demand for security personnel this year and have asked for 3,000 police staff, including women cops, round the clock on Janmashtami,” Mishra said.

The temple has already put up 16 CCTV cameras and two metal detectors to keep a close watch on visitors, he added.

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