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Security stepped up around Dagdusheth temple,police look to decongest area

PMPML ready to move its bus stops away from the temple; hawkers sensitised

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune |
July 11, 2013 4:17:12 am

EVEN as the city police are reviewing the security of the famous Dagdusheth Ganpati temple,which is on the terror hitlist,they are brainstorming on how to unclutter the area where the temple is located. In the wake of the Bodhgaya serial blasts,police have stepped up security not only around the Dagdusheth temple but also around other religious places in the city.

“We have reviewed the security situation at Dagdusheth temple and other religious places. But our focus remains the Dagdusheth temple which is the high-value target,” Joint Commissioner of Police Sanjeev Kumar Singhal said.

Police said the temple security is ‘very tight’ and all efforts have been made to ensure that trouble-makers get no room whatsoever to put their plan into action. Singhal said,in last few months police have taken several measures to ensure that the temple premises is safe. Tightening security,conducting time-to-time review of the security situation and holding secret security tests are some of them.

“But the biggest step relates to uncluttering the space around the temple premises. The

civic administration has

helped us in removing the encroachers around the temple premises,” he said.

Though the area around the temple has been decongested,he said,a little more uncluttering is still required.

“There are practical difficulties as the temple is located on one of the arterial roads. I don’t know if it would be possible to change bus routes,” he said. When contacted,PMPML spokesperson Deepak Pardeshi too said it would not be possible to change the route of buses. If we were to divert the buses from Lal Mahal,buses won’t be able to find free space to manoeuvre,” he said.

Pardeshi said at best they can change the location of the bus stop on Shivaji Road where the temple is located. “If the police can suggest a spot,we will move the bus stops,” Pardeshi said.

Singhal said they have sensitised not only the police personnel,but also private security personnel,local residents and hawkers. “Awareness among the people and police is very important to deal with such incidents,” he said. Even hawkers have been told to keep a watch on any suspicious objects or movement of people.

Senior police officials said sensitising the police especially was important since a couple times when a security test was conducted,the police personnel were caught napping.

“We had kept an empty box on the road,but nobody noticed it for long. This is why there is need to review the security situation from time to time,” a police officer said. A resident said they have been issued passes to park vehicle in the vicinity of the temple. While the city police guard the temple round the clock,the temple trust has also ensured its own security.

Police said baggage scanners and metal detectors have

been put in place. While scores of devotees make a beeline

inside the temple,there are

others who worship the lord

from a distance,by standing on the busy road.

The temple has been wrapped in thick security cover after it was revealed that the Indian Mujahideen had planned to blow up the temple on February 13,2010,the day of the German Bakery blast. The planter of the bomb had to drop the plan at the last moment because of an alert from a flower vendor.

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