Police review security at Puri's Lord Jagannath Temple following alleged IM visit
Police in Odisha's Puri town have reviewed security in and around the famous Lord Jagannath Temple in the wake of receiving information about the visit of two Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives to Puri and Bhubaneswar in January this year.
Top police officials held a meeting and decided to beef up security of the 12th century temple, including frisking of all the visitors to the temple, increase of watch towers and CCTV (closed-circuit television) cameras and removal of encroachments around the temple.
"There have to be some watch towers so that periphery of the temple is always under scrutiny and any activity which is suspicious can be noted and can be informed so that action is taken. There are many encroachments around the temple. It needs to be immediately removed and already administration is on the job and at the earliest the encroachments will be removed, which will help improve the security environment of the temple and around the temple," said Special Director General of Police, Sanjeev Marik.
The police have confirmed the visit of two IM militants to the province in January, who stayed in different hotels, but their motive is still to be confirmed.
Specualtions about planning of an attack by the outfit during the famous chariott festival of Puri have not been ruled out.
As per the residents of the area, the security of the temple, which is visited by thousands of devotees every year, is not up-to-the-mark as of now.
"Something needs to be done for the security, it is very weak right now. The lodgings and hotels near the temple and near the sea should be checked all round the year and there should be CCTV cameras right now," said a resident, Bikash Mohapatra Daitapati.
The police have, meanwhile, decided to employ a proffessional team for regular inputs and updates about the security regime.
Metal detectors will also be made functional at the shrine and paramilitary personnel will be deployed at the watch towers in the temple vicinity.
(Posted on 29-04-2014)