Varanasi temple gets permanent police post

Six days after the Varanasi twin blasts and ahead of another rush-hour Tuesday, UP government has now taken steps to implement the Centre's recommendations for the security upgrade of the Sankatmochan Temple. On March 7, terrorists slipped inside the temple in absence of even basic security paraphernalia to trigger an explosion that left eight dead and over 50 injured.

Varanasi's new SSP G K Goswami told The Indian Express today that a permanent police post had been set up inside the temple with a dedicated strength of 30 policemen to keep vigil round the clock. After the Kashi Vishwanath temple, Sankatmochan now becomes only the second temple in the city to have a permanent security cover.

"Metal detectors have been installed since last night at the temple gate plus hand-held detectors have been given to policemen to check each visitor," Goswami said.

Local intelligence officials have also been assigned the duty of drawing up records of people living around the temple and also do regular patrolling inside the temple premises to keep a watch on suspects.

All these recommendations were made after the Centre carried out extensive security surveys of temples after the LeT attack on Akshardham in 2002. The UP government had not responded to the same despite Sankatmochan temple being surveyed by the NSG in 2003, which recommended steps for effective security. Only Ayodhya's Ram Janmabhoomi, Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath and Mathura's Krishna Janmabhoomi temples have a permanent security cover in UP.

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