CCTV cameras installed at Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid

August 11th, 2008 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Aug 11 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh government has set up a control room equipped with closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras and deployed 25 security personnel at the historic Mecca Masjid, which was targeted by terrorists last year. The control room was inaugurated by Minorities Welfare Minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir, who said the security had been strengthened in the wake of threats from terrorists.

Nine people were killed and scores injured in a bomb blast during Friday prayers at the 17th century mosque, located near the iconic Charminar, on May 18 last year.

The control room has been set up at a cost of Rs.3.8 million by the minorities welfare department, which is responsible for the upkeep of the mosque.

The control room, equipped with nine CCTV cameras and 14 static and rotating cameras, will keep round-the-clock vigil in and around the large mosque.

Officials said the security personnel at the control room would keep an eye on the movement of people.

Six door-frame metal detectors have also been installed and the security personnel were provided six hand-held metal detectors to screen the people entering the mosque.

Hundreds of of tourists besides worshippers visit the mosque every day.

Over the last few years, the Charminar area has also witnessed several violent protest demonstrations after the Friday prayers.

As some people were against involvement of police in the security arrangements, the minorities welfare department decided to take up the responsibility.

Shabbir said the department would spend Rs.1 million in salaries to the security personnel every year. “If necessary, we will further increase the security measures,” he said.

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