Tight security at Gujarat temple for Holi festivities

March 10th, 2009 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, March 10 (IANS) The historic Sri Krishna temple at Dakor in Gujarat has been turned into a fortress for the Holi festivities with the government deploying an unprecedented number of security personnel to guard around half a million devotees thronging the temple from all over the state.
The unprecedented rush of devotees for three days at the Ranchhodraiji (Lord Krishna) temple, about 90 km from here, poses not just a threat of terrorist attacks but also stampedes, said an official. A total of 1,200 security personnel, including commandoes have been deployed in and around the temple premises. Some officers from the Special Operations Group have also been stationed, the official said.

A sniffer dog and a bomb squad have also been deployed at the temple. The security arrangements will remain in place till the festivities get over.

Legend has it that Lord Krishna changed his residence from Dwarka to Dakor for the convenience of his devotees after an aged devotee Bodana urged the Lord that he was getting too old to travel to Dwarka from Dakor. Every full moon night on Holi, Bodana used to walk all the way from Dakor in central Gujarat to Dwarka on the western tip of the state on the Arabian sea coast to seek Lord Krishna’s blessings.

The pilgrims are being thoroughly frisked before being allowed into the temple. A large number of tents for the pilgrims have been put up by various welfare bodies far away from the pilgrimage centre offering food and water to the devotees, the official added.

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