Gujarat’s popular temple receives bomb threat letters

October 1st, 2008 - 9:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Ahmedabad, Oct 1 (IANS) The Ambaji temple in north Gujarat, one of the state’s most popular shrines, has been receiving a series of letters warning of a bomb, taxing its administrators and the police during the Navratri festival.”Bomb hoaxes are nerve-racking. These days these hoaxes cause us more worry,” temple administrator P.K. Jadeja told IANS on phone from Ambaji town.

The temple has received several hand-written letters in Gujarati by post, some from Vadodara, Jadeja said Wednesday.

“Two hoax letters were written in the same style and these have now become a regular feature. Most of them come from Vadodara. The person or persons sending them have not even spared a spiritual place like Ambaji,” he said.

The temple in Ambaji town, 180 km from here, is a very popular pilgrim destination with huge crowds thronging it daily. The number of devotees visiting it goes up during the nine-day festival of Navratri which started Tuesday.

“Even an innocuous or anonymous letter alerting us about a bomb can only be ignored at our own peril,” Jadeja said.

Security at the temple has been increased especially after a crude bomb blast at Modasa in neighbouring Sabarkantha district Monday night. One boy was killed and 10 people were injured in the blast.

“After the Modasa incident the police are not willing to take any risk,” said Banaskantha District Superintendent of Police D.N. Patel. “The police are already on high alert right after the serial bombings in Ahmedabad (on July 26) and nothing can be dismissed as hoax until it is fully verified,” he said.

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