Security tightened in Agra after serial blast threat

October 8th, 2008 - 5:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Oct 8 (IANS) Security has been tightened at public places in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra town following a letter to authorities warning of serial blasts, including one at the Taj Mahal, police said Wednesday.The letter from someone claiming to be an area commander of the Indian Mujahideen terrorist group was received by Agra Cantonment railway station superintendent R.C. Meena Tuesday.

“Even if it is a hoax or some kind of a prank, we can not take it lightly. Accordingly, all precautions are being taken and we have stepped up vigilance,” Senior Superintendent of Police Raghuvir Lal said.

The letter warns of serial blasts targeting the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Agra Cantonment railway station, Bankey Bihari temple in Vrindavan and Dan Ghati in Goverdhan. The letter in Hindi is neatly written.

Pankaj Gangwar, senior divisional commissioner (security) of the railways, sent copies of the letter to district authorities and police officials.

Members of the hospitality and tourism industry expressed concern about the security situation and said the recent blasts in New Delhi had created anxiety, leading to cancellations.

“Tourism being a sensitive industry, a blast anywhere affects us,” Tour Guide Association president Tahir Uddin Tahir said.

Rakesh Chauhan, president of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association, said: “Frequent bomb blasts and a lot of these hoax warnings are having a negative impact. The peak tourist season has begun. We think some concrete steps need to be initiated to arrest the negativity that is spreading.”

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