New Delhi: For the first time and just before the 67th Independence Day, government has deployed "armed" security personnel to guard `Rajghat` -- the memorial of the father of the nation and apostle of non-violence Mahatma Gandhi -- in the national capital.
The issue of deploying armed guards at the venue on the banks of the Yamuna, thronged by VVIPs and common people round the year, was kept aside since the last over six years considering Gandhi`s principles of non-violence and `ahimsa` and the emotions attached in this context.
All other nine memorials in the vicinity of Rajghat like Shakti Sthal (Indira Gandhi), Veer Bhumi (Rajeev Gandhi), Vijay Sthal (Lal Bahadur Shastri) among others have been brought under armed security cover since 2004.
The Union Home Ministry recently, after top-level deliberations with the Ministry of Urban Development and other government agencies, decided to deploy weapon carrying CISF men to take over the `Rajghat` security from August 1 based on some vital intelligence inputs.
"A squad of 24 Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) men and women have been deployed at Gandhijee`s samadhi and they are armed.
However, only the commandos at the entry gate will carry weapons while those inside and near the `samadhi` will not carry any weapons but will be in uniform," a senior official said.
Sources added that the decision was prompted by the recent bombing incidents in Bihar`s Bodh Gaya where crude explosives were placed inside the monastery which injured three monks on July 7 this year.