Shift luggage room away from Taj Mahal: police

November 30th, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Nov 30 (IANS) Security has been beefed up at the Taj Mahal here in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks as the police suggested that the luggage room at the main gate of the 17th century monument should be shifted out, an official said Sunday.Additional security personnel were deployed at the 16th century Mughal monument Taj following Saturday’s visit here by Uttar Pradesh director general of police Vikram Singh, and other senior officials.

The Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan over 1632-53 in memory of his wife Mumtaz, is India’s biggest tourist draw.

The senior officials suggested shifting of the cloak room from the Taj Mahal’s main gate. The officials observed that the rear of the Taj Mahal towards river Yamuna was exposed and motor boats should be used for patrolling, an official said.

They were keen to know how the security apparatus at the Taj Mahal would respond if there was a terrorist attack and what were the arrangements to protect the tourists, the official added.

Police officials are concerned as the Taj Mahal is visited by a high number of foreign visitors who could become easy target for terrorists, said an intelligence official.

Security has been stepped up at the railway stations and the bus stands in Agra, which is about 200 km south of New Delhi.

Hotels have been told to make additional security arrangements and keep a 24-hour vigil on the movement of visitors.

Vikram Singh and Principal Secretary (Home) Kunwar Fateh Singh Saturday reviewed the security arrangement at Mathura’s Sri Krishna Janma Bhoomi.

“We should have better coordination among different agencies. There should be uninterrupted power supply and regular checking of vehicles moving around the monument. Also a permanent DIG (deputy inspector general) level official exclusively for the Taj Mahal should be posted with powers to take prompt decisions,” said Surendra Sharma, president of the Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society.

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