Security beefed up at temples for Janmashtami

August 23rd, 2008 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) After an anonymous letter was received at Delhi secretariat this week threatening terror strikes on temples ahead of Janmashtami celebrations Sunday, security around over a dozen temples in the capital has been beefed up.Special security arrangements have been made around the Lakshmi Narayan temple and the Hanuman temple in central Delhi, the Iskcon temple and Chhatarpur temple in south Delhi and the Gauri Shankar temple in Chandni Chowk.

Rajan Bhagat, Delhi Police spokesperson, said: “Security has been increased in consultation with the temple authorities. Security personnel have been deployed. Door frame metal detectors and CCTVs have been installed at various temples.”

“Besides Delhi Police, several volunteers have been roped in to keep a strict vigil in the temple premises during the festival,” he said.

Janmashtami is celebrated every year as the birth anniversary of Lord Krishna. On Tuesday, the Delhi government secretariat received a letter threatening terror strikes on temples by Kashmiri militants on Janmashtami.

“Though the letter bears a postage stamp, it is not clear from where it was sent. It has been forwarded to the home department,” an official told IANS.

Some of the temples in the capital have even written to Delhi Police for more security personnel during the festival.

“We have increased the demand for security personnel this year and asked for 3,000 police staff, including women cops, for keeping round the clock vigil on Janmashtami,” said V.K. Mishra, administrator in charge of the Lakshmi Narayan temple, popularly called Birla Mandir.

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

At the Iskcon temple in south Delhi, which attracts throngs of devotees on Janmashtami, several watch towers have been erected to monitor the movement of devotees.

“Since there is a large influx of devotees in the temple on the festival, five separate entry points have been made to mange the rush. For security reasons, no one will be allowed to carry any bag, camera, mobile phone inside the temple premises,” said Bhajan Niranjan Das, communication in-charge of Iskcon.

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

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