Security beefed up at Taj Mahal, three shrines

December 1st, 2008 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Dec 1 (IANS) Alarmed by the Mumbai terror attack, Uttar Pradesh has decided to beef up security not only at the Taj Mahal in Agra but also at three contentious shrines in Ayodhya, Mathura and Varanasi.The internal security of Taj Mahal was entrusted to central para-military forces, and the state police were involved in ensuring the security of the monument in the outer circle.

Principal home secretary Fateh Bahadur, who charted out a revised security plan, told IANS: “All I can tell you is that we propose to overhaul the entire security system in these places in the light of growing terrorism in the country.”

The plan was revised by Bahadur alongwith Director General of Police Vikram Singh on the directions of Chief Minister Mayawati Sunday.

Bahadur said: “The need for a contingency plan in the wake of what has happened in Mumbai, together with revamping of the intelligence network.”

He said: “Considering the need for a dedicated force to deal with terrorism, we have already taken a decision to expand our Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) into an independent self-contained entity.”

“We have already appointed a full-time independent inspector general to head the ATS while some of the other junior officials who were so far drawn from other wings of the police on a sharing basis would also work full-time for ATS.”

He said there is a need to “plug many loopholes before we come up with a completely revised security drill for the Taj Mahal as well as for the three key shrines at Mathura, Varanasi and Ayodhya.”

The three shrines, where the security is planned to be raised, are Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, Krishna Janmbhoomi in Mathura and Kashi Vishwanath temple and Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.

“Other than these major destinations, we need to also take a fresh look at the overall security scenario in the backdrop of the emergence of malls, multiplexes etc., which were quite vulnerable to terrorist strikes,” he added.

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